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Conophytum burgeri (Burger's Onion)


Scientific Name

Conophytum burgeri L.Bolus. Br.

Common Names

Burger's Onion, Little Light Bulbs

Scientific Classification

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


Conophytum burgeri is an onion-shaped, single-bodied succulent that is possibly the most unusual of all the species of the Conophytum genus. It is slow-growing and gradually subdivides. It varies in size and can reach up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. Unlike other Conophytums, it is spring and summer growing, and is dormant in its pale leaf-sheath during winter. It produces a purple flower in early fall.


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.


Conophytum burgeri is native to South Africa.


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