The anniversary orchid’s first open flower! On last season’s blooms (above), the pattern was mostly organized horizontally across the petals, with little to no spotting on the sepals. But this season, the spots have splashed out across the petals, and there is random spotting on the sepals as well. The colour is also slightly more magenta-looking this time.
I have heard that this variation in patterning can be caused by differences in temperature. I’m really excited to see the rest of the flowers when they open, it’ll be interesting to see how varied they are!
As all species in the genus, Stapelianthus arenarius (Gentianales - Apocynaceae) is a stapeliad native to Madagascar, distinctive by its white flowers with five fleshy sepals (occasionally four), spotted red-brown in the center.
Conophytum ficiforme (Caryophyllales - Aizoaceae) is a dwarf, almost stemless succulent endemic to South Africa, that grows in small dense clumps forming compact mats or domes. The fig-shaped bodies are greyish-green, 20 mm long and 15 mm thick, sometimes depressed at the fissure (gap, groove), with two distinct lobes.
They are often flushed with purple and have characteristic horseshoe-shaped markings of greenish to reddish dots or lines which surround the fissure and cross the lobes. The highly scented rose-pink, white to pale yellow flowers are long lasting and appear in autumn. The fruit is a capsule containing many small seeds.