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Products > Ceropegia dichotoma
Ceropegia dichotoma - Cardoncillo
Image of Ceropegia dichotoma
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Apocynaceae (Dogbanes & Milkweeds)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Pale Yellow
Bloomtime: Fall/Winter
Synonyms: [Ceropegia aphylla]
Height: 2-3 feet
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30° F
Ceropegia dichotoma (Cardoncillo) - An upright succulent shrub to 4 feet tall in habitat but mostly seen here from 2 to 3 feet tall. It branches from the base with many vertical smooth thick pale gray-green stems that have constrictions at the nodes every 2 to 4 inches, making them look jointed. At the nodes near the stem tips appear pairs of 2 inch long narrow leaves that are deciduous and drop off as winter progresses into spring unless plants are irrigated and even then it has a long dormant period from mid spring though fall where it is without leaves. From fall into winter appear the pale yellow inch long flowers lantern-like flowers that are held upright near the stem tips and tubular at the base with 5 narrow petal lobes that arch back toward the center to be joined at their tips. If fruit forms it is a pair of horned capsules, but we have not seen it produce these here in cultivation. Plant in full to part sun is a very well drained soil or succulent potting mix in a container. Cold hardy to around 25 °F. We had a potted plant growing outdoors during the January 2007 freezes (3 nights down to 25 °F) that did not suffer any damage. This is a very nice container plant that can be grown in a well draining site in the garden or as a container specimen. It is also sometimes used as a rootstock for grafting other difficult to grow stapeliads. Ceropegia dichotoma is endemic to the Canary Islands archipelago on the islands of Tenerife, El Hierro, La Gomera, and La Palma. The name for the genus was coined by Carl Linnaeus in his first volume of Species Plantarum in 1753 and comes from the Greek words 'keros' meaning "wax" and 'pege' meaning "a fountain" as the peculiar waxy flowers of the type species, Ceropegia candelabrum, apparently looked to him like a fountain of wax, which have a swollen shape, really peculiar, and strange, waxy petals. Though the genus has long placed in the Milkweed family, the Ascepiadaceae, the most recent treatment has merged this family with the Dogbane family, the Apocynaceae. The specific epithet is from the Latin word 'dichotomous' (from the Greek word 'dichotomia') meaning "divided in two", "forked" or "division in pairs" in reference to the branching structure of this plant. The common name used in the Canary Islands is Cardoncillo in reference to the plants superficial similarity to the Canary Island Cardón (cardón canario), Euphorbia canariensis, but this plant is also called Needle Vine (not sure why as it is not a vine!) and Canary Candelabra Flower. Our thanks go out to Diane Dunhill from whom we received our first stock plant of this species. 

Information about Ceropegia dichotoma displayed on this page is based on our research about it conducted in our library and gathered from reliable online sources. We include observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well as how the crops have performed in containers in our own nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others about this plant when we feel it adds information and particularly welcome hearing from anyone who has any additional cultural recommendations that would aid others in growing it.