Keith's Orbea
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Keith's Orbea
ntroduced Photo: Gurcharan Singh
Common name: Keith's Orbea
Botanical name: Orbea carnosa subsp. keithii    Family: Apocynaceae (Oleander family)
Synonyms: Pachycymbium keithii, Caralluma keithii

Keith's Orbea is a leafless perennial herb with fleshy stem that spreads by runners branching off from the existing decumbent stem bases to form additional erect or ascending stems. Small fleshy flowers, 1.5-2.0 mm in diameter, borne in groups of 1-3 are produced in spring and summer. The flower has a five lobes marked with small teeth at the angles and halfway along the flower sides. The flower surface is rich maroon, dotted or striped in yellow sometimes much more creamy yellow towards the central annulus surrounding the corona, with a few club-shaped hairs near the base of the lobes. The species is extremely variable. Stems are bluish-green to greyish-green, often covered in purple blotches, 70-90 mm high, much thicker than the slender under-ground rhizomes, deeply 4-angled with prominent fleshy teeth arrayed in vertical columns along the stems. Teeth, alternate, fleshy and triangular which are laterally compressed with prominent denticles (toothlets) on the sides. Keith's Orbea is native to South Africa.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh Photographed in Plantae Paradise, Datyar village near Parwanu, HP.

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