Lifesaver Cactus
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Lifesaver Cactus
ntroduced Photo: Gurcharan Singh
Common name: Lifesaver Cactus
Botanical name: Huernia zebrina    Family: Apocynaceae (Oleander family)
Synonyms: Ceropegia zebrina

Lifesaver Cactus is a low-growing perennial fleshy species more or less creeping, occasionally forming mats. I It has a raised, glossy, wine-red ring around the mouth of the flower tube. The flower varies in size and is usually patterned with wine-red zebra stripes which vary prominently in colour intensity. Stems are or prostrate or creeping-erect, laxly branched, tapering, prominently 5-6 angled. Inflorescence is few-flowered on a 1.2-1.4 cm long flower-cluster-stalk. Flowers are flat 3.5-4.5 cm across with a tube about 6 mm in diameter and about 7 mm deep, the prominent shiny annulus is glossy red to purple-brown, marked or unmarked, the 5 flower lobes are tapering about 12 x 10 mm, greenish-yellow with red to purple cross-zebra-stripes; both sides hairless. Flowers emit the smell of rotting flesh, which attracts flies. Lifesaver Cactus is native to South Africa. Flowering: November-March.

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

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