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Cheiridopsis pillansii


Scientific Name

Cheiridopsis pillansii L.Bolus


Cheiridopsis pillansii var. pillansii, Cheiridopsis brachystigma, Cheiridopsis crassa, Cheiridopsis gibbosa

Scientific Classification

Family: Aizoaceae
Genus: Cheiridopsis


Cheridopsis pillansii is a small mat-forming succulent that has very short stems with only 2 or 4 leaves. The fleshy leaves are pale grey, smooth, with rounded ends and many dark dots (translucent in backlight) and each up to 1.8 inches (4.5 cm) long. The new leaves are shaped like a pair of cupped hands and appear from within the old leaf pair fissure which gives the impression of the plant having sets of alternate appressed leaves. The flowers are scented, usually yellow, but also pinkish or orange in color, up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) in diameter and appear in fall.

Cheiridopsis pillansii

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How to Grow and Care

The basics of Mesemb care are very simple, with 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' own adaptability and to follow their growth habits in your particular conditions.

Mesembs require a loam-based compost with the addition of 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. There are some Mesembs which begin to grow in the autumn as the temperature drops and the days get shorter.

Because different genera within the Mesemb family have different growing conditions, care must be taken with watering. Some genera will benefit from a light spray water to prevent shriveling during their dormant period… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Mesembs.


Native to South Africa (around Cape Town).


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