Seyrigia

Family: Cucurbitaceae
Habitat: Madagascar
Cultivation: Put it in full sun or partial shade, choose a well-draining soil, and keep the temperatures above 5ºC.
Curiosity: The name of this genus honors a French botanist André Seyrig.

KEY FEATURES

Seyrigia is a small genus of plants in the family Cucurbitaceae. It includes 6 species of plants endemic to Madagascar. Theri natural habitat are usually semiarid bushlands, scrubs or forests, where they often climb on other trees.

Seyrigias are not so famous in cultivation: the most famous species, probably the most attractive one of the genus, is undoubtely S. humberti, which is a climbing cacti equipped with numerous tubers and a peculiar, dense white hair that cover the stems that gives the impression of a beautiful, translucent sheen.

Seyrigias have usually slender, erect, climbing stems, quadrangular or round. Stems are also ribbed (divided in four ribs in S. humbertii).

Leaves are tiny, ephemeral, around 3 millimeters long. In some species, such as S. humbertii, the leaves are three-lobed.

Flowers are tiny, usually a few millimeters long, orange to pinkish-brown. Seyrigias are dioecious. This means that there are “male plants” and “female” ones. Male plants are only provided with male flowers, while female ones are provided with female flowers.

The fruit is usually a tiny, orange or red, oblong pumpkin. We remind that Seyrigia belongs to the same family of pumpkins!

In most species, the roots are tuberous and sphaerical, so that they are often mistaken for caudex. A caudex, instead, is an enlarged portion of a stem, while a tuber is an enlarged root. The two types of organs, however, share the same function: to store water and nutrients to ensure the survival of the plants in their severely arid climate conditions.

VARIETY AND TYPES

Here below are the 6 accepted species of Seyrigia:

  • S. bosseri
  • S. gracilis
  • S. humbertii
  • S. marnieri
  • S. multiflora
  • S. napifera

Check our online shop to find them

TIPS FOR GROWING

Sinningia are not so tough to cultivate. Here below are our tips:

  • Put your Seyrigia in full sun or partial shade. It also requires high air humidity.
  • It is preferable to keep it at mild temperatures, never below 5 °C. For this reason we suggest to place it in a sheltered and ventilated spot during the winter period.
  • Water moderately, only when the soil is completely dry. Once a week in spring and summer is sufficient, in autumn and winter, instead, reduce the irrigation frequency to once a month.
  • A strongly draining soil is an optimal solution, for example formed by a mixture of peat and pumice, to avoid water stagnation.
  • They do not need frequent fertilizations, it is enough to dilute fertilizer with watering once a year.

Propagation can be carried out either by seeds or by cuttinggs. Remember that, to obtain seeds, you should have at least two plants: a “male” and a “female” one, because the plant is dioecious. That’s why we actually advice to use stem cuttings for the propagation. Take off a cutting in Spring, let it dry a few days and then plant it in a sandy, well-draining substrate, maintained slightly humid until the cutting puts roots.

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