Avonia papyracea (E.Mey. ex Fenzl) G.D.Rowley
Anacampseros meyeri var. minor, Anacampseros papyracea, Anacampseros papyracea subsp. papyracea
This species is endemic to South Africa. It occurs in the dry semi-arid region of Little Karoo and Great Karoo.
Avonia papyracea, formerly known as Anacampseros papyracea, is a dwarf succulent with several slender branches that radiate from a tapered rootstock or basal caudex, wholly clothed in white papery overlapping stipules that are bigger than leaves and hide them. The tiny leaves are fleshy, green, up to 0.3 inches (0.8 cm) long, and up to 0.1 inches (0.3 cm) wide. Flowers are scented, creamy-white, with five rounded petals positioned at right angles to what appears to be a central ring of yellow anthers. They appear in summer, and most 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, it is relatively easy to grow in cultivation. Avonias grow very slowly and require careful cultivation. Clustering in cultivation, if grown correctly, 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. Depending on the species, they enjoy gritty, free-draining soil with added organic material and low to moderate watering.
The seeds germinate 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 an 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.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Avonia.
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