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  Duvalia corderoyi CACTUS ART

Cultivation and Mail Sale
of Cacti and Succulents.

Of all the duvalias, this specie is among the most distinct and has the largest flowers reaching almost 5 cm in diameter. The attractive brick-red flower is also unusual in having long purple hairs thickly covering the centre of the flower.
Purplish colour simulate the rotting flesh of dead animals. These flowers attract beetles and carrion flies who pollinate the plant as they are fooled into trying to lay eggs on the flower.


Morphology (Identifying Characteristics):  Groundcover, clump forming. This species is easily identifiable by its thick six angled stems and its relatively large fleshy and very hairy flowers. These plants grow covering the whole land at their disposal.
Stems are typical for the genus in being small and creeping. Branches sub-globose, crowded, thick, leafless, decumbent and rooting, glabrous, dull green or purplish, six-angled; angles obtuse, toothed. In autumn, winter it may assumes a yellow/green colouring, it also tends to  redden in full sun and during the winter month.
Flower: From the sides of the stems, olive-green, with darker tips, or dull reddish-brown, 1 1/2in. to 2in. in diameter; lobes of corolla lanceolate-acuminate, fringed with clavate mauve-purple hairs; annulus clothed with soft hairs of the same colour. Different colored flowers can be produced produced on the same plant but not on the same branch.
Fruit: Flies pollinate the flowers resulting in the typical twin seed horns (follicles), which are decorative in themselves and often don't appear until a year later.
Blossoming time: Flowers are freely produced throughout the late summer and autumn.
D. corderoy is a variable species with many different forms and clones both in the wild and in cultivation.

Cultivation:  It is an easy obliging blooming plant when mature, they are happy in any average succulent house.
Duvalia require moderately watering through the growing season but enjoy plenty of water and some fertiliser in hot weather, this helps them to flower freely.
Fertilizers fur succulent plants must be rich in potassium, but poor in nitrogen, to avoid the plants from developing excess vegetation, which is easily attacked by fungal diseases. Water more sparingly in winter according to temperatures. But, as with most asclepiads, it is unwise to leave them wet in cold weather. These plants don't like cold weather, therefore in the Spring it is best to set them outside only when the temperatures are above 15C. It is advisable to position this plant in a partially shady place, where it is exposed to direct sunlight only during the coolest hours of the day. Can endure temperatures below 5C for short period, but only if the soil stays completely dry. Since roots are quite shallow, use a soft and incoherent cactus mix or add extra perlite or pumice to regular soil potting soil, and clay pots help the plants to dry out between watering.
Sun Exposure: Partial sun or light shade
Pest and diseases:   Stapelia species vary in their susceptibility to rotting, but are generally fairly easy to grow, especially if kept pest-free. They are very susceptible to stem and root mealy bugs, and damage from these may well initiate fungal attack. If you do have problems with a stem or with basal rotting, you can reliably isolate the healthy parts, dry them off, and re-root them in moist compost.
Cultural Practices: Re-pot every 2 years.



Family: Asclepiadaceae (Apocynaceae)  (Milkweeds family)

Scientific Name: Duvalia corderoyi (Hooker f.) N. E. Brown, 1876
Vernacular name (s): Starfish flower, Carrion Plant
Distribution: D. corderoyi is a small stapeliad from the dry Southwestern and central regions of Southern Africa (Great and Upper Karoo)

Etymology:  The genus epithet "Duvalia" was named  after H. A. Duval (1777-1814) of Paris, a French botanist and physician,  author of " Enumeratio Plantarum Succulentarum in Horto Alenconio ").
The species name "corderoyi" comes from
Justus Corderoy (1832-1911) English miller and succulent plant cultivator at Blewbury near Didcot, Berckshire (Now Oxfordshire)

Genus Duvalia
Duvalia is a Stapelia-like genus comprising small stem succulent plants with a creeping or mat forming habit, growing generally in the shade of shrubs. Corolla with the segments more or less replicate, and an elevated annulus (orb) on the disk; outer corona flat, entire, pentagonal, disk-like; inner corona of five small, entire, horizontal, ovoid, pointed, fleshy segments, somewhat resembling a bird's head when viewed sideways. Most of the species are natives of South Africa, but the distribution is disjunct, with section Arabica species found in the Arabian peninsula and the Horn of Africa, i.e. Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Sudan, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Somalia in the north, whilst section Duvalia comprises species from southern Africa which are found in Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.



This photo shows the nice symmetry of the flower, note the purplish hairs covering the uplifted 'ring' or annulus, as well as the yellowish club-shaped lobes in the centre.
  See also the lanceolate-acuminate lobes of corolla fringed with clavate mauve-purple hairs.

Propagation: Easiest with stem cuttings. Allow cuttings to dry a day before planting. Stems must be laid (Not buried) on gritty compost and will then root from the underside of the stems. It can also be increased from seeds sowing in spring in moist, sandy peat moss. Barely cover seeds. Seeds germinate quickly.

Photo gallery: Alphabetical listing of Cactus and Succulent pictures published in this site.

Photo gallery DUVALIA

Home | E-mail | Plant files | Mail Sale Catalogue | Links | Information | Search

All the information and photos in cactus art files are now available also in the new the Encyclopaedia of Succulents. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.