Cheiridopsis purpurea L.Bolus
Cheiridopsis purpurea is native to South Africa. It occurs on quartzite outcrops or flats from Karrachab to Maerfontein in the Northern Cape.
Cheiridopsis purpurea is a small, clump-forming succulent with leaves arranged in one or two (sometimes three in cultivation) pairs per branch. It grows up to 4.8 inches (12 cm) tall and up to 16 inches (40 cm) in diameter, often raggedly stemmed in age. The leaves are triangular and keeled, joined when young and separating as they mature, sometimes with teeth along the keel, and up to 2 inches (5 cm) long. They are pale grey-green and slightly spotted. The old leaves persist to form corky brown sheaths that protect the new growth.
The showy flowers are solitary, brilliant magenta, up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter, and appear in winter. They open around midday and close at sunset. Fruits are 10-locular globose capsules.
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 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 water spray to prevent shriveling during their dormant period.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Mesembs.
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