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Avonia quinaria subsp. alstonii

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Scientific Name

Avonia quinaria subsp. alstonii (Schönland) G.D.Rowley

Synonyms

Avonia alstonii, Anacampseros alstonii

Scientific Classification

Family: Portulacaceae
Genus: Avonia

Description

Avonia quinaria subs. alstonii is a dwarf caudiciform plant with a large rootstock buried to its rim, surmounted with myriads of silvery-white stems. The caudex is turnip-shaped with a spherical crown above ground and up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter. Branches are up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long. Leaves are very small, semi-orbicular, flattish and completely hidden by the stipules. Flowers are usually white or in shades of pink, solitary and up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) in diameter.

Photo via cactofili.org

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °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.

Origin

Avonia quinaria subsp. alstonii is native to South Africa (Namaqualand, Cape Province).

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