Stephania pierrei

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Stephania pierrei
Stephania-erecta.jpg
Classification
Group: Angiosperms
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Menispermaceae
Genus: Stephania
Species: S. pierrei
Classified: Diels, 1910
Growing
Propagation: From From seeds
Adult size: Vines up to half a meter, 30cm caudex
Lighting: High
Watering: Allow soil to mostly dry
Fertilization: Monthly during active growth
Soil: Extremely well drained
Humidity: Any
Other information
Toxicity: {{{Toxicity}}}
Rarity: Uncommon
See more Stephania

Common names:

Stephania erecta

Stephania pierrei is a caudiciform in the Menispermaceae family. The thick swollen stem (or caudex) acts as a store of water and nutrients and allows the plant to survive prolonged periods of drought.

Name

Stephania comes from the Greek, "a crown". This refers to the flower's anthers being arranged in a crown like manner.

Erecta means 'upright'.

Characteristics

Foliage

S. pierrei has thin, small, round, lime green leaves with distinctive veining. The foliage emerges from a swollen stem called a caudex.


Care

S. pierrei wants high light. As much bright light as possible should be provided, this plant can even take some direct sunlight. When placing S. pierrei in direct sun attempt to shield the caudex from direct light, as this will stress the plant. As with all plants, when moving it into direct sunlight it should be slowly acclimated over a few days to avoid the risk of leaves scorching or yellowing.

Use an extremely well draining soil mix (see succulent soil) and water thoroughly, allowing excess to drain. Do not allow the plant to sit in water. Allow the soil to dry mostly before watering again. Avoid long periods of drought as this will likely trigger the plant to enter dormancy and drop all its foliage.

I've bought a caudex, what should I do?

If you have received a S. pierrei caudex and you are unsure which side is 'up' look for a ring or nub where the plant was previously vining from. Plant it with the nub upwards in some extremely well draining soil.

If you're unsure or cannot tell which side is up, pick a side and just plant it. Caudicforms can remain dormant for many months so leave it two to three months and if you still aren't seeing any activity, gently remove it from the pot (checking to see if it has rooted, in which case, leave it be) flip it the other side and re-plant.

Keep it somewhere warm and as you wait for the caudex to root and send out a vine, spray the caudex and soil with a misting bottle, keeping the substrate just barely damp at all times.

My S. pierrei is leggy

If your plant has produced a long, unattractive vine without leaves you can cut it back to the caudex. In time it will send out a new vine, and if you give the plant more light it should grow more compactly.

Sun Damage

Moving the plant from a low-light indoor aspect to a bright, south facing window or outside in direct sun will lead to leaves bleaching and scorching. When moving the plant outdoors, choose a spot in shade or that gets dappled or screened sunlight. Let the plant slowly acclimate to being outdoors and never move the plant into direct sun without slowly building up a tolerance first. Some direct morning or evening sun is fine but hot midday light will scorch the leaves.

Pests

S. pierrei can be affected by spider mites, mealybugs and thrips.