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Cheiridopsis purpurea

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Scientific Name

Cheiridopsis purpurea L.Bolus

Synonyms

Cheiridopsis splendens

Scientific Classification

Family: Aizoaceae
Genus: Cheiridopsis

Description

Cheiridopsis purpurea is a small clump-forming succulent with leaves arranged in pairs, with one or two (sometimes three in cultivation) pairs per branch. The leaves are joined when young and separate as they mature. They are triangular and keeled, sometimes with teeth along the keel, up to 2 inches (5 cm) long, with a typical blue-green color and transparent dots. The old leaves persist to form corky brown sheaths that protect the new growth. The solitary showy purplish-pink flowers are up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) across and appear in winter. They open around midday and close at sunset.

Cheiridopsis purpurea

Photo via davesgarden.com

Hardiness

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

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' adaptability and 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. Some Mesembs 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.

Origin

Native to South Africa (Northern Cape).

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