Huernia zebrina, commonly known as the lifesaver cactus or lifesaver plant, is a species of flowering plant in the family Apocynaceae. This plant is native to the arid regions of eastern and southern Africa, particularly South Africa, Namibia, and Zimbabwe. Huernia zebrina is a succulent plant, which means it is adapted to store water in its fleshy stems and leaves to survive in dry environments.
The plant gets its common name from its distinctive and unique flowers, which resemble lifesavers or lifebuoys due to their ring-shaped structure with a raised, central disc. The flowers are typically yellow or light brown, with red or maroon stripes, giving them a zebra-like appearance. The flowers also emit a foul odor that attracts flies for pollination.
Huernia zebrina is a popular choice for collectors of succulents and cacti, as it is relatively easy to grow and maintain. The plant prefers well-draining soil and a sunny to partially shaded location. It is also essential to water the plant sparingly and allow the soil to dry out between waterings to prevent root rot. In cooler climates, it can be grown indoors as a houseplant.