Orbea longii, previously known as Stapelia longii and also Tromotriche longii, is a stem succulent that grows long, branched, procumbent stems. The miserable-looking stems in the photo, coloured grey and other colours of suffering, may also be pale green in satisfied appearance. There are four uneven ridges on the thin stems, as well as small tubercles, in the form of slight, abrupt bulges or pointy teeth upon the ridges. Branching occurs in the lower stem parts, the young stems growing about perpendicular on the old ones and arching down. Stems become up to 23 cm long and 6 mm thick.
Flowers are solitary from young stems. The flowers have five pointed corolla lobes, red-brown and curving back from the prominent ring, the annulus around the outer and inner corona. The corolla margin has long purple hairs in the lowest areas between the lobes. The annulus is pale cream with red-brown markings, the two coronas dark purple to nearly black on their lobes. Corolla diameter is 2,4 cm.
The distribution of O. longii is in the Eastern Cape in the Klein Winterhoek Mountains and the western reaches of the Suurberg. The habitat is grassland where the plants grow on cliffs and steep slopes in shallow sandstone soils. Due to their inaccessibility, the population of this rare plant is still stable early in the twenty first century (White and Sloane, 1937; www.redlist.sanbi.org).