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Avonia papyracea


Scientific Name

Avonia papyracea (E.Mey. ex Fenzl) G.D.Rowley


Anacampseros papyracea, Avonia papyracea subsp. papyracea

Scientific Classification

Family: Portulacaceae
Genus: Avonia


Avonia papyracea is a dwarf, perennial succulent with several slender branches radiating from a tapered rootstock or basal caudex, wholly clothed in silvery-white, overlapping scales. Leaves are tiny, fleshy, green, up to 0.3 inch (8 mm) long and up to 0.1 inch (3 mm) wide. Scented lowers are creamy-white, with 5 rounded petals positioned at right angles to what appears to be a central ring of yellow anthers. Most of its flowers last only 2 to 4 hours.


USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Although regarded as a choice and difficult plant, in cultivation it is relatively easy. Avonias grow very slowly and require careful cultivation. Clustering in cultivation, if grown correctly, it will reward the grower with generous displays of tiny flowers. These plants grow well at moderate to cooler temperatures in partial sun. Bright light enhances leaf colors and makes for a compact plant. They enjoy a gritty, free-draining soil with added organic material and low to moderate watering depending on the species.

The seeds germinate very quickly at temperatures between 59 and 70 °F (15 and 21 °C). In cultivation, the young plants develop much quicker than in their natural surroundings where they do not get ample water supply. Generally, they are not easy to raise from seed as too much water kills them immediately, which also happens when they are not watered at all.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Avonia.


Avonia papyracea is endemic to South Africa.


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