Antimima ventricosa (L.Bolus) H.E.K.Hartmann
Cheiridopsis ventricosa, Mesembryanthemum ventricosum, Ruschia ventricosa
This species is native to South Africa. It occurs from Hondeklip Bay in Northern Cape to Clanwilliam in Western Cape, growing on rock outcrops.
Antimima ventricosa is a small compact succulent shrub with basally branched stems and thick, fleshy, moderately fused leaves, resembling a species of Cheiridopsis. It grows up to 4 inches (10 cm) tall. Leaves are gray-green, papillate, triangular in cross section, up to 4.8 inches (12 cm) long, and 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) thick. The solitary flowers are magenta or white, up to 2.2 inches (5.5 cm) in diameter, and appear from late winter to early spring. Fruits are 4- to 6-locular capsules without valve wings.
USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Mesembs are mostly adapted to relatively predictable rainfall patterns rather than extreme drought and irregular rainfall. Total rainfall may be extremely low, but water is available at least seasonally or through fog and condensation. This leads to or allows plants that are not especially large and sometimes very small and affects how they need to be treated in cultivation.
Care basics are simple: free-draining soil, plenty of sun and ventilation, and regular light watering in the right season. The difficulties are endless, trying to adapt to the Mesembs' adaptability and follow their growth habits in your particular conditions.
These plants require a loam-based compost with extra drainage material such as horticultural grit or perlite. They all like good light conditions and plenty of ventilation.
Some are relatively cold-hardy and can even survive mild winters outside. Most will survive temperatures down to the freezing point. Some Mesembs begin to grow in the fall as the temperature drops and the days get shorter.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Mesembs.
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