ISI 2015-32. Kedrostis africana Cogn

If one is to grow just one caudiciform, this might be the best. Native to Namibia and South Africa, this is one of the hardiest of caudiciforms, tolerating winter rain and several degrees of frost. The very fleshy, often contorted caudexes produce vigorous, thin green stems that climb with the aid of tendrils as is characteristic of the Cucurbitaceae, or cucumber family, to which it belongs. The species is monoecious (with separate male and female flowers but on the same plant) and is often self-fertile so the showy orange fruits are readily formed. The caudex is covered with pale bark and can become fairly massive in time, up to 50 cm across, given plenty of root room and space for its vines to grow. On the other hand, it is easily restrained in a pot where it can be a satisfying specimen for many years. We offer seedlings already forming a caudex to 2.5 cm (1") or more across. HBG 119545, from open pollination of plants from Sheilam Nursery, in Robertson, W. Cape, South Africa. $8.

example with big, round caudex

Photo © 2015 by Karen Zimmerman. Images may not be used elsewhere without permission.

Published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal, Vol. 87 (3), May - June, 2015