Shield Flower plant
Dorstenia foetida is a small succulent with a thick erect stem, unbranched or with several branches, all with pronounced scars of leaves, stipules, and inflorescences. The leaves are typically dark green, smooth, and glossy, with a wrinkled or textured surface.The inflorescence is composed of modified leaves that surround the flowers, creating a protective enclosure. The flowers themselves are typically greenish-yellow or greenish-white in color.
Dorstenia needs bright light or partial to full shade, with warm temperatures and a well-drained soil mix that must not remain soggy for too long.
During the growing season, the plants appreciate a fair amount of water but allow the soil to dry slightly between watering, making sure that they never dry out completely. They have to be kept in a rather high air humidity.
They are fertilized once during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer diluted to ½ the strength recommended on the label. During the winter months they tend to go at least partially dormant and will exhibit some leaf loss. During this period, they should be given very little water.
Dorstenia is pretty versatile, having various landscape uses. This plant will look absolutely gorgeous in rock gardens, succulent gardens, desert gardens, and containers. It is also a common indoor ornamental as a bonsai.