Stephania erecta is a deciduous vining caudiciform native to the mountains of Thailand, where the bulbs grow completely buried and go dormant during the yearly dry season. Caudiciforms are plants that grow a uniquely plump, swollen trunk called a caudex, which helps the plant store water. Stephania erecta's caudex looks looks a lot like a potato, and when grown as a houseplant, is best displayed planted about halfway into well-draining soil.
The main attraction of this rare plant happens when this plant comes out of dormancy and produces a stunning flush of bright green parasol-shaped leaves along creeping vines. The peltate leaves remind us of pennywort and nasturtium, and combined with the caudex, the whole plant seems otherworldly. The vines of this plant look beautiful cascading from a bright shelf or trained around a trellis.
We're selling this plant as a dormant caudex to protect the tender vines.
The sizing is based off the weight of the caudex, but here are the most common measurements for the categories:
Small: Caudex ~1”-2” wide. Ready for planting in a 3”-4” pot
Medium: Caudex ~2”-3” wide. Ready for planting in a 4”-5” pot
Large: Caudex ~3”-4.5” wide. Ready for planting in a 4”-6” pot
JUMBO (not pictured): Caudex ~3.5"-5” wide. Ready for planting in a 6" pot
How to Grow
• Plant caudex in exceedingly well-draining soil (at least 50% perlite, vermiculite and/or pumice) with the top half of the caudex exposed. We have marked the bottoms of our bulbs with a small "X".
• During active growth, water when soil is fully dry. Stephania erecta is typically dormant from December to April. During dormancy, refrain from watering.
• Stephania erecta needs bright indirect light, adequate humidity, and warmth to grow a mature vine. Use a cloche or unsealed plastic bag to make a humid microclimate that will help initiate growth.
• This plant is extremely sensitive to over-watering. Always err on the side of under-watering. Too much direct sunlight can burn the leaves and caudex.
What to Expect
You'll get one (1) dormant Stephania erecta in the size of your choice, ready for planting! Each caudex is a bit different, so expect this natural variation from the photos. Includes detailed care instructions.
We include shipping box warmers at no charge as needed. Got questions? Check out our FAQ!
My Stephania erecta is interesting even when it’s not actively growing. It was slow to start but now that it has it’s producing flowers before the leaves. I’m looking forward to more surprises from this curious plant.
I received my plant in a timely manner and it was obvious that care was taken in shipping my plant out. I planted as directed and have it covered in a cloche. It remains to be seen in how it does, it's only been a couple of days since planting.
It arrived well packaged with clear potting instructions. My son faithfully checks it daily . Still waiting for it to sprout…