This section is from the book "The Botanical Magazine; Or, Flower-Garden Displayed", by William Curtis. Also available from Amazon: The Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed, Volume I.
Stapelia variegata. Variegated Stapelia.
Contorta. Nectarium duplici stellula tegente genitalia.
STAPELIA variegata denticulis ramorum patentibus. Lin. Syst. Vegetab. p. 260. Sp. Pl. p. 316.
ASCLEPIAS aizoides africana. Bradl. suc. 3. p. 3. t. 22.
This very singular plant is a native of the Cape of Good Hope, where it grows and flourishes on the rocks with the Stapelia hirsuta.
If these plants be kept in a very moderate stove in winter, and in summer placed in an airy glass-case where they may enjoy much free air, but screened from wet and cold, they will thrive and flower very well; for although they will live in the open air in summer, and may be kept through the winter in a good green-house; yet these plants will not flower so well as those managed in the other way. They must have little water given them, especially in winter.
It is very seldom that the variegata produces seed-vessels in this country; Miller observes, in upwards of forty years that he cultivated it, he never saw it produce its pods but three times, and then on such plants only as were plunged into the tan-bed in the stove.
This plant may be propagated without seeds, as it grows fast enough from slips; treatment the same as that of the Creeping Cereus, which see.
It takes its name of Stapelia from Stapel, a Dutchman, author of some botanical works, particularly a Description of Theophrastus's plants.