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This collector's plant is a semi-decidous succulent perennial grown for its swollen caudiciform base. It has thin, twining stems growing up to 3 feet with 1/2 to 1 inch long gray-green oval leaves and tiny lightly scented starfish-shaped, lime green flowers. It is dioecious with male and female flowers on separate plants. In nature, the tuberous caudex grows underground reaching a size up to 2 feet in diameter. Growers leave the young plants with this base buried in the pot until the desired size is reached. It's then repotted with the caudex above ground creating the unique bonsai look. To protect this base from sunburn grow the plant in light shade. Train the twining stems on a framework or keep trimmed to keep them from growing over nearby plants. Plant in a fast-draining cactus mix and water regularly from spring to fall, then reduce watering in winter during dormancy to prevent rotting. Though the name 'edulis' indicates the plant is edible, it requires an elaborate process to rid the tuber of its toxicity. This endangered species, native to South Africa and Namibia, can withstand a light frost as low as 28F for short periods. USDA zones 9b - 11.
Keyed Cultural Guide:
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(F) Flourescent lights for
indoor light culture
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