Cyphostemma bainesii

Whilst going through my photos (I have a load), I cam across this interesting-looking plant, snapped at the Kirstenbosch Gardens in the summer. So here is Cyphostemma bainesii, more than a mouthful…

Here is another pic of mine, some details of the plant and a pic of a more mature plant, from Catcus Art Biz. Cool plant, right?

Description: C. bainesii a deciduous succulent shrub or small tree that grows up to 1,5m high with thick or bottle shaped trunks (caudex) up to 40 cm wide. It is very similar to C. juttae, but shorter and fatter. Bark is papery and smooth, very attractive, clear yellowish-brown to pastel and peeling in rings to reveal grey-green.

Leaves: Huge, bright yellowish-green to glaucous green often with red undulated margins covered with a fairly dense fuzz.

Flowers: In a lose inflorescence on mature plants and are followed by ornamental, orange grapes (don’t eat them they are high in tannic acid and not sweet) they may be slightly toxic.

Cultivation: Grows in a rich, well drained soil with some water and lots of sun throughout the year. It is suited to greenhouse culture but do well out of doors in Mediterranean climate. It doesn’t like the wet winter but will survive. Water plentifully in summer but keep absolutely dry in winter. Mature plants are hardy to -3C, but it is best to avoid freezing temperatures.

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