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Conophytum bilobum (Living Pebble)

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Scientific Name

Conophytum bilobum (Marloth) N. E. Br.

Common Names

Living Pebble

Synonyms

Mesembryanthemum bilobum (basionym), Conophytum elishae, Conophytum meyerae, Mesembryanthemum elishae

Scientific Classification

Family: Aizoaceae
Subfamily: Ruschioideae
Tribe: Ruschieae
Genus: Conophytum

Description

Conophytum bilobum is a small, stemless (or with short stem with time) succulent, up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) tall, with paired leaves up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) wide. The surface is slightly harsh to the touch, chalky-green and dotted with darker green. The leaf-tips are free in profile, triangular in shape and keeled. The margins and tops of the lobes are green and often with a reddish or deep purple line. The flowers are diurnal, bright yellow to red-orange, up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter and appear in fall (rarely in summer).

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 10b to 11b: from 35 °F (+1.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Conophytums are usually grown in dish gardens where they spread slowly but make good ornamental plants for window gardening. They also do well in rockeries where they can be grown in crevices.

These plants vegetate during the winter season. They must then be kept dry during hot, gradually wet upon fall arrival. The moisture stimulate the release of new root hairs and the plant will grow for the entire winter season, foliar issuing new pairs from inside the existing ones. Flowering usually occurs in fall and the color of the flowers is extremely variable from species to species. The cultivation is quite easy, but care must be taken to avoid excess water and to prevent rot. The plants themselves communicate their water needs with a slight wrinkling of the epidermis. They do not particularly fear the cold weather and can resist also at temperatures of 23 °F (-5 °C) as long as the soil is completely dry and the temperature returns rapidly to rise.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Conophytum.

Origin

Conophytum bilobum is native to western part of South Africa.

Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars and Hybrids

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