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Conophytum frutescens


Scientific Name

Conophytum frutescens Schwantes


Conophytum notabile, Conophytum salmonicolor, Conophytum teguliflorum

Scientific Classification

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


Conophytum frutescens is a beautiful slow-growing succulent, up to 4 inches (10 cm) tall, that forms loose spherical shrublets of paired leaves. It produces laxly branched stems with extended internodes up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long. The paired leaves are glabrous, yellowish-green, grey-green, or turquoise spotted and marked with dully purple streaks on the keels and edge of the fissure between the lobes. They are up 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) tall and up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) wide. The flowers are orange to coppery or pinkish.

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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 stimulates 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 the 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 also resist 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 frutescens is native to South Africa.


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