Conophytum ectypum N.E.Br.
Conophytum chloratum, Conophytum ectypum var. ectypum, Conophytum ectypum var. limbatum, Conophytum ectypum var. tischleri, Conophytum limbatum, Conophytum tischleri, Conophytum virens
This species is native to South Africa. It grows in sunny or shaded places on quartz patches and ridges in the Northern Cape province.
Conophytum ectypum is a dwarf succulent that forms a cluster of bodies composed of two juicy leaves, almost entirely fused and usually covered in old white skin. The bodies are cylindrical or inverted cone-shaped, truncate to chiseled or sulcate above, up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long, and up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) in diameter. They are shiny when turgid, green to reddish-brown with dark green stripes or grooves. Flowers are diurnal, long-tubed, showy, have pink to white or rarely chrome yellow petals, and appear in fall. Fruits are 4- to 6-locular capsules.
The specific epithet "ectypum (ek-TY-pum)" is the neuter form of the Latin adjective "ectypus," meaning "in relief," and refers to the embossed surface of the bodies.
How to Grow and Care for Conophytum ectypum
Light: This succulent needs bright light but does not like too much direct sun. To avoid sunburn, place your C. ectypum in a position to receive a few hours of full sun in cooler periods of the day. The plant stretch if it needs more light.
Soil: C. ectypum thrives best in porous soil mixes that allow water to drain away quickly. Use a commercial potting mix specially designed for growing succulents or make your own.
Temperature: High temperatures are not a problem, but the plant can be damaged when the temperature goes below freezing. C. ectypum can withstand temperatures as low as 35 °F (1.7 °C). USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 10b to 11b, 35 to 50 °F (1.7 to 10 °C).
Watering: When it goes dormant in the spring, C. ectypum requires little or no water. In the fall, when it will begin growing, it is safe to water deeply, allowing the soil to dry before watering again. If leaves start to wrinkle during active growth, your plant needs water.
Fertilizing: This small succulent is a light feeder and does not need fertilizer if it is repotted every two years.
Repotting: The best time to repot C. ectypum is at the beginning of the period of active growth, but repotting can be done at almost any time while the plant is actively growing.
Propagation: This species is usually grown from seeds. Like all Conophytums, it is also easily propagated by division. The best time to divide C. ectypum is in late summer or early fall, before it begins to break dormancy or after it has flowered. Sow the seeds in fall in a pot with a well-drained soil mix.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Conophytum.
Toxicity of Conophytum ectypum
C. ectypum is non-toxic and safe to grow around children and pets.
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