Orbea tapscottii (Verd.) L.C.Leach

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Orbea tapscottii

Photo: Tony Benn
Mmopane, Gaborone

Orbea tapscottii

Photo: Tony Benn
Mmopane, Gaborone

Orbea tapscottii

Photo: Tony Benn
Mmopane, Gaborone

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Synonyms: Ceropegia tapscottii (I. Verd.) Bruyns
Stapelia tapscottii I. Verd.
Stultitia tapscottii (I. Verd.) E. Phillips
Common names:
Status: Native
Succulent perennial up to 12 cm high, forming clumps up to 50 cm wide. Stems erect, marked with brown or purple, lines or patches; tubercles 10-25 mm long, tapering into a slender, somewhat flattened tooth. Flowers 1-3 per stem near the base on pedicels 6-12 mm long. Corolla 2-6 cm in diameter,star-shaped; outside smooth, pale green, with 3-5 purplish veins on the lobes;inside pale brown, purple-brown or red with many cream ridges; margins with purple ciliae up to 3 mm long. Corona 4 mm tall, red to deep maroon or pale yellow with maroon markings; inner lobes erect, S-shaped, lobes connecting in the middle and diverging at the tuberculae tips.
Notes: Apparently threatened by overgrazing and urban expansion.
Derivation of specific name: tapscottii: named after Sydney Tapscott (1886-1943), surveyor and naturalist who collected succulent plants in particular.
Habitat: In flat gravelly or sandy soils under short bushes, often in overgrazed areas.
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Botswana and South Africa.
Botswana distribution: SE
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status: Endangered
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Bruyns, P.V. (2002). Monograph of Orbea and Ballyanthus (Apocynaceae-Asclepiadoideae-Ceropegieae) Systematic Botany Monographs 63 Pages 156 - 157. (Includes a picture).

Bruyns, P.V. (2005). Stapeliads of Southern Africa and Madagascar Volume I Umdaus Press, Hatfield, South Africa Pages 306 - 307. (Includes a picture).

Golding, J.S. (ed.) (2002). Botswana Plant Red Data List. Southern African Plant Red Data Lists. SABONET 14 Page 18.

Goyder, D.J., Gilbert, M.G. & Venter, H.J.T. (2020). Apocynaceae (Part 2) Flora Zambesiaca 7(2) Pages 224 - 225. (Includes a picture).

Kirby, G. (2013). Wild Flowers of Southeast Botswana Struik Nature, Cape Town South Africa Page 124. (Includes a picture).

Leach, L.C. (1975). The Reinstatement of Orbea Haw. (Asclepiadaceae) Kirkia 10(1) Page 291.

Leach, L.C. (1978). A contribution towards a new classification of Stapelieae (Asclepiadaceae) with a preliminary review of Orbea Haw. and descriptions of three new genera Excelsa Taxonomic Series No. 1 Aloe, Cactus and Succulent Society of Zimbabwe Pages 31 - 32. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 28.

Other sources of information about Orbea tapscottii:

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Orbea tapscottii
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Orbea tapscottii
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Orbea tapscottii
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Orbea tapscottii
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Orbea tapscottii
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Orbea tapscottii
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Orbea tapscottii
iNaturalist: Orbea tapscottii
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Orbea tapscottii
JSTOR Plant Science: Orbea tapscottii
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Orbea tapscottii
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Orbea tapscottii
Plants of the World Online: Orbea tapscottii
Tropicos: Orbea tapscottii
Wikipedia: Orbea tapscottii

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-22

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2022). Flora of Botswana: Species information: Orbea tapscottii.
https://www.botswanaflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=215160, retrieved 30 September 2022

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