Argyroderma patens L.Bolus
Blue Pebbles, Blue Stone Plants, Ice Plant, Living Rock
This species is native to South Africa. It grows in quartz or limonite in Vredendal and Van Rhynsdorp in the Western Cape province.
Argyroderma patens is a dwarf succulent with bodies of two hood-shaped leaves with a wide gap between them. It forms a compact clump of up to 10 bodies with age. Leaves are thick, fleshy, gray-green, up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) tall and up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) wide. The old leaves become yellow with age, forming a tight bowl surrounding the base of new leaves.
The solitary flowers are up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter, magenta, pink, yellow, or white, and appear in fall and winter. Fruits are spherical, usually 12-locular capsules.
A. patens is similar to Argyroderma framesii but larger overall.
USDA hardiness zones 10b to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Mesembs are primarily 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.
The basics of care are simple: free-draining soil, plenty of sun and ventilation, and regular light watering in the right season. Yet 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 withstand temperatures down to a 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.
- Back to genus Argyroderma
- Succupedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus
Click on a photo to see a larger version.