Orbea carnosa subsp. keithii is a leafless perennial stem succulent that spreads by stolons. The stolons branch off from the existing decumbent stem bases to form additional erect or ascending stems. Small fleshy flowers in groups of 1-3 are produced in spring and summer. The corolla has a five lobes marked with small teeth at the angles and halfway along the corolla sides. The corolla surface is rich maroon, dotted or striped in yellow sometimes much more creamy yellow towards the central annulus surrounding the corona, with a few clavate hairs near the base of the lobes. The species is extremely variable.
Cultivation and Propagation: Orbea paradoxa is an easily grown stapeliad , suited to hanging baskets as well as pots. It grow well in light gritty soil with a very liberal drainage. They should at all times sparingly watered (best rainwater with some occasional fertilizer), and in winter time they hardly require any. They require outdoor culture, or a warm close greenhouse, while growing in the early part of summer, and afterward may be ripened and kept in a greenhouse; but as they bloom chiefly in autumn, warmth is desirable to enable them to expand their flowers. They are also most attractive in a hanging pot with their trailing segments With numerous fleshy (non-hurtful) teeth. Some collectors enjoy the long, snake-like stems induced by an excess of water. Spring: When winter ends and they begin to grow again, they will require much water and soaking the pots will no longer put the plants at risk for rot. In the spring they will grow well in partial shade and leaing them out in the rain may provide them with the water they need. Summer: In the summer months they will tolerate heavy rain, but will be just as happy if the season is dry. It's best to sort out the stems while the plants are resting in the summer before they begin their autumnal growth cycle. They will tolerate very hot weather outdoors as long as they are kept in filtered light and this will encourage them to flower in the Autumn. They also enjoy some fertilizer. Moving the plants as they are developing buds may cause them to spontaneously abort the flowers altogether. Autumn: In the fall keep them outdoors until the nighttime temperatures drop below the 5°C. Winter: Winter care presents no problems at 5°-10° C with plenty of light. As soon as they are flowered be sure to take extra precautions to keep them dry, because damp cool conditions when the plants are resting is an invitation to fungal infections, but - according to temperatures –some occasional lit watering may be useful. Potting medium: Since roots are quite shallow, use a cactus mix or add extra perlite or pumice to regular soil potting soil. A gritty, very free-draining compost is suitable, and clay pots help the plants to dry out between watering. Re-pot every 2 years.