Caralluma speciosa Description: This is one of the big clumping Caralluma that can reach one meter in height. It bears at the apex a many-flowered clusters of brownish-black flowers, similar in form and size to those of Campanula Trachelium.
Stem: 30-80 cm tall (but occasionally up to 120 cm tall), 2-3 cm thick, tetragonal, euphorbia-like, rather soft, light-green. The ribs first acute enlarge to form a continuous horny margins to the stems with conical, acute tubercles.
Leaves: Appear at intervals, rudimentary, spreading laterally spine-like.
Inflorescence: Perfectly symmetrical, spherical, 30-40-flowered pseudoumbel up to 10 cm in diameter.
Flowers: With a foetid rotten flesh odour that attract flies, about 4 cm in diameter, cup shaped 5-lobed, the corona tubes are yellow to orange. Corolla lobes are reddish-brown with small yellow dots. Corolla lobe margins are dark maroon or black and ciliate near the apex. Pedicel 4-6 mm long.
Fruit: Follicles, about 12 cm long, glabrous.
Seeds: 9 mm long, 7 mm broad, broadly margined, adorned with a tuft of hairs nearly 30 mm long.
Caralluma speciosa Cultivation and Propagation: Caralluma speciosa is relatively easy to grow. It needs regular watering, especially during the hottest summer days; provide also some light watering if the green house temperatures in winter are elevated. Either excessive or very scarce watering can induce rot.
Frost Tolerance: Winter temperatures must be kept over 10° C. But it can withstand winter night-time temperatures down to about 5°(or less) Celsius for short period. Freezing temperatures are fatal.
Sun Exposure: Full sun to half sun. It has a great advantage if grown in very strong light, but sheltered from full sun.
Cultural Practices: Provide very good ventilation. It grows quite easily and fast on its own roots. It is not difficult as commonly supposed.
Propagation: Seeds and cuttings.