Orbea Haworth

From the Latin, 'orbis', circle; for the thickened corolla part - the annulus -surrounding the flower centre, most notable in species such as Orbea ciliata.  Basally branched stem succulents with erect or ascending four to five angled stems. Stems green or grey-green usually spotted red especially in sunny locations. Clump forming or caespitose, often with underground runners.  Recently members of the genus Orbeopsis and many former members of the genus Caralluma were transferred by Peter Bruyns into Orbea. At the same time he also transferred Orbeanthus into Orbea, but this move was not universally accepted and I side with those wishing to maintain that genus as a separate entity. 

Orbea albocastanea

This is a variable species from Namibia. The mottling on the cream  white background can be grey, green, red or any shade of purple through to black.  The plant shown is PVB5667 from N.E. of Nuwerus, Maltahohe, Namibia.

Orbea baldratii 

From Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Yemen, Kenya and northern Tanzania.  Of the two clones shown the 'normal' form is from Ethiopia, whilst the 'red' form is from the Yemen. O. baldratii ssp somalensis as the name suggests is found only in Somalia.

Orbea carnosa

Distributed in the Gauteng and Northern Provinces of  South Africa, the plants shown were originally obtained as Pachycymbium keithii, which has recently been transferred to Orbea carnosa.

Orbea caudata ssp. rhodesiaca

Orbea caudata has a wide distribution covering Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. As the name of the sub species suggests the type locality is the Belingwe District of Zimbabwe.

Orbea ciliata

Formerly in a separate genus Diplocyatha this species from the Western Cape Province is part of the Orbea variegata complex.  It is widely believed in the UK that there is but a single clone circulating in collections as all have the tendency to form cristate stems and sometimes flowers.

Orbea ciliata Thunberg Leach [Cristate].JPG (79849 bytes)

Orbea cooperi

Found in the Northern and Eastern Cape Province this squat species is closely allied to Orbea tapscottii

Orbea cucullata

John Lavranos discovered, what was then an Angolluma, which has corolla lobes that remain attached at the tips giving the appearance of a Ceropegia flower as in Fig.1, (Fig.2 shows the tips separated to expose the corona).  Darrel Plowes gave the plant the name Angolluma cucullata nom. prov., but as yet has not described it as such.  Without wishing to become involved in questions taxonomic, it would seem logical that as Peter Bruyns has included the species Angolluma in Orbea, this would now become Orbea cucullata nom. prov.  Darrel informs me that this is one of a number of plants that he is about to describe and I look forward with interest to its publication.  The hybrid between this and O. wissmannii shown here was obtained from Iztok Mulej in Slovenia. 

Orbea decaisneana

A variable and widely distributed northern African species from Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal and Sudan, the species now includes the former Caralluma hesperidum.  The two clones shown were both grown from IAS seed in 1995, Clone 1 is from Bargny, Sudan whilst Clone 2 sown as Caralluma hesperidum is from Cape Aoulouz, Morocco.

Orbea deflersiana

From southern Yemen, this another species formerly in Angolluma. Bearing in mind its habitat this species benefits from slightly warmer winter temperature of 10-12 C.

Orbea denboefii

The type locality of this species is the Rift Valley in Kenya and it  can also be found in neighbouring Tanzania.. The plant shown is PVB8679 but without locality details.

Orbea dummeri

From an area comprising southern Uganda, southern Kenya, northern Tanzania and eastern Zaire, this species is easily recognised by its highly papillate flowers. Sadly none of the three clones shown came with any locality details.

Orbea gemugofana

From the Gemo Gofa district of Ethiopia, this species related to O. sprengeri can also be found in Kenya and Uganda. The plant shown is from IAS1801 seed ex GO212801a  from Arba Minch, Ethiopia


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