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Conophytum ficiforme (Button Plants)

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Scientific Name

Conophytum ficiforme (Haw.) N.E.Br.

Common Names

Button Plants

Synonyms

Conophytum altile, Conophytum assimile, Conophytum fossulatum, Conophytum odoratum, Conophytum pallidum, Conophytum placitum, Mesembryanthemum altile, Mesembryanthemum assimile, Mesembryanthemum ficiforme, Mesembryanthemum pallidum, Mesembryanthemum placitum

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Conophytum ficiforme is a dwarf, almost stemless succulent that grows in dense clumps. The fig-shaped bodies are grayish-green, with two distinct lobes, up 0.8 inches (2 cm) long and up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) thick. They are often flushed with purple and have greenish to reddish dots or lines that surround the fissure and cross the lobes. Flowers are long-lasting, highly scented, rose-pink, white to pale yellow, and appear in fall. The fruits are capsules that contain many small seeds.

Hardiness

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

How to Grow and Care

Most Conophytums need bright light but do not like too much intense sunlight. To avoid sunburn, place them in a position to receive a few hours of full sun in cooler periods of the day.

These plants thrive best in a porous growing medium that will drain quickly. Use a commercial succulent soil specially designed for growing succulents or make your own mix.

When Conophytums go dormant in the spring, they require little or no water. In the fall, when plants will begin growing, it is safe to water deeply, allowing the soil to dry before watering again.

Conophytums are light feeders, and they do not need fertilizer at all unless they are repotted every two years. It is best to feed at the beginning of the growth period and just before flowering.

These succulents will benefit from repotting. They typically need to be repotted every 2 to 4 years, depending on the pot's size and growth rate. The best time to repot a Conophytum is at the beginning of a period of active growth.

Conophytums are easily propagated by division. They can also be grown from seeds.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Conophytum.

Origin

Conophytum ficiforme is native to South Africa (Western Cape).

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