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Conophytum cubicum

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Scientific Name

Conophytum cubicum Pavelka

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Conophytum cubicum is a marvelous succulent plant with bodies that have a broad top, up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide and narrowed base. Bodies are actually pairs of leaves joined to their tips with only a small opening through which the flower stalk appears in mid summer or early fall. Flowers are white with extremely long tubes. They are possibly the largest flowers in the genus.

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

Photo via cactuspro.com

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 cubicum is native to South Africa. It was discovered by Petr Pavelka at the very end of the 20th century. It is only known to occur on one quartzitic hill.

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