Caralluma diffusa (Wight) N.E.Br., Gard. Chron. III, 12: 369 1892. (Syn: Boucerosia diffusa Wight; Desmidorchis diffusa (Wight) Kuntze);
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Caralluma diffusa: 6 posts by 6 authors. Attachments (6)

This is Carlluma diffusa (Wight) N. E. Brown, collected from Tamil Nadu.

Caralluma R.Br.,

Caralluma named from the Arabian ‘qarh alluhum’, a flesh wound or abscess; for the floral odour of some species (Keith Bensusan, 2009). C. indica flower with rotten fungus like odour is the best example for this. The genus Caralluma is mainly paleotropical in its distribution and is the most widely distributed group among the stapeliads, from the Canary Islands in Macaronesia to the Indian subcontinent (Bruyns et al. 2010). The subtribe Stapeliinae G. Don. belongs to the tribe Ceropegieae Decne ex Orb. of the subfamily Asclepiadoideae R. Br. ex Burnett (Endress & Bruyns 2000, Meve & Liede 2004). This subfamily has traditionally been treated as a family Asclepiadaceae, but molecular evidence has demonstrated that the group, monophyletic though it is, is ested within the Apocynaceae Juss. (A.P.G. 2009.)

Stem fleshy; branches ascending, 4-angled, nearly of equal thickness throughout the branches; internodes glabrous. Leaves absent, leaf scars present, with appendage-like growth at nodes on angled portion. Flowers in terminal umbellate cymes, many-flowered; bracts triangular, acute at apex, glabrous; pedicels terete, glabrous. Calyx 5-lobed, divided up to base; lobes lanceolate, acute at apex, glabrous. Corolla campanulate, lobes 5, ovate, acute at apex, ciliate at margin only, otherwise glabrous. Corona biseriate; the outer annular, arising from base of stamens, closely intact; lobes with two horn like appendages widely separated from each other; the inner variable, linear, arising from inner side of outer corona, overlapping anther-lobes. Stamens 5, pollinia 5, pollen masses solitary in each anther cell, yellow, waxy with pellucid layer attached by light brown caudicles. Follicles up 10-15 cm in long.

Type: India: Madras Presidency; Coimbatore District, arid rocky mountains near Coimbatore at 600m elevation.

Flowering & Fruiting : Throughout the year.


Nice caption and information too. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful Caralluma species.


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ANAPR45 Caralluma umbellata Haw. : 12 posts by 5 authors. Attachments (6)

Family: Apocynaceae
Date: 17th April 2015
Place: Nandi Hills, Bangalore, Karnataka
Habit: Herb
Habitat: Scrub forest


Wow, wonderful pics.. Thanks for sharing..


Thank you ma’am. I am told this it is quite common in deciduous forests where rocky patches on slopes are found. And as I have observed, they prefer a rocky habitat, little soil and hot and dry conditions. I have been growing one at home and had kept it in the shade for the better part of last year. Later, a friend told me that unless I expose it to direct, harsh sunlight causing it to become purple, I couldn’t possibly expect it to flower!


yes nurturing a cactus in india esp in coastal areas is a fine tuned dance of moving it around

most of the cactii in casually maintained gardens in bengal tend to die…

for a plant that’s does not seem to be not really finicky, turns out to be the most finicky..
high moisture in the air is the biggest enemy at least here in bengal

good luck with your caralluma


Thank you …

I do suppose that maintaining cacti and succulents is quite different as may be in this case.

Caralluma being in Apocynaceae still requires more water than cacti as I am told by a gardener.


yes. it tolerates it better


Nice …, Caralluma is eaten as a salad, it is commercialy used in Pharmaceutical industry along with other species of Caralluma. Monkeys will eat it. It can be cooked just like bitter guard. it is used in weight management and arthritis.


This is Caralluma diffusa (Wight) N.E.Br. rather than Caralluma umbellata Haw. as per images and details herein.



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