Stapeliads are one of the most interesting groups of succulents-the diversity in shape, colour, size and smell make them an enticing group to collect and grow. The genus Orbea has beautiful flowers and is one of the easier groups to grow successfully. Even sterile plants with their purple-blotchy stems against various shades of green backgrounds are very attractive. The name Orbea is derived from the Latin word orbis, which refers to the central raised disc or annulus, found in the flowers of most species.Orbeas are leafless, glabrous, succulent perennials that form compact to diffuse clumps. They branch from the base and often arise from rhizomatous rootstocks.The flowers are 10-100 mm in diameter and are borne in few- to many-flowered inflorescences, appearing together or in quick succession. One to five inflorescences usually develop at any place along a stem. They often have an unpleasant odour, which attracts pollinators.Stapeliads can be used to enhance the surrounding areas of larger focal plants. They will definitely attract attention when in full flower, if not for the beautiful flowers then for their odour or the pollinators they may attract to the garden.Seeds germinate easily.
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