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Quaqua mammilliaris - Black Starfish Flower - 5 Fresh Seeds

Quaqua mammilliaris - Black Starfish Flower - 5 Fresh Seeds

£1.99

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Quaqua mammilliaris - Black Starfish Flower - 5 Fresh Seeds

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Description

Quaqua mammilliaris - Starfish Flower

This listing is for a pack of 5 seeds.

This used to be classified as a caralluma and was simply known locally as 'the caralluma with the black flowers'. It is a relative of the stapelias, although in this case it has hard stems, with several angles and large 'teeth' or tubercles. It produces its dark flowers on the top of the stems, often in great numbers that open in succession. As each flowering cluster can have up to five flowers that open in turn and remain open for several days, the flowering period can go on for months. The flowers are a deep purple colour, almost black from a distance, they have long narrow lobes that twist and curl as the flowers fully mature. If the flowers are pollinated, seed horns follow containing a large number of flat seeds with silken parachutes which disperse with the slightest wind, making them hard to collect.

The reason for the striking colours and form of the flower becomes apparent when you consider that they are trying to mimic the food of the pollinator - the majority of the species are pollinated by flies in a very complex (one sided) relationship.

The flowers have an extremely complex pollination mechanism only rivaled by that seen in orchids. This generally reduces hybridisation as it is akin to a lock and key. After the flowers, if pollination has occurred, the plant produces two large seed horns pack full of seeds on silken parachutes.

Full instructions can be downloaded by following the links on my ME page.

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