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Conophytum maughanii

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Scientific Name

Conophytum maughanii N.E.Br.

Synonyms

Conophytum maughanii subsp. maughanii, Conophytum rufescens, Ophthalmophyllum maughanii, Ophthalmophyllum rufescens, Ophthalmophyllum schuldtii

Scientific Classification

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

Origin

This species is native to South Africa (Northern Cape).

Description

Conophytum maughanii is a dwarf succulent with two fleshy leaves almost entirely fused into a soft, globose to short cylindrical body. It grows solitary or forms small clusters. The bodies are up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) tall and up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) in diameter. They are pale green to pale orange, always at least patchily translucent at the apex, and turn purple-red as dormancy approaches in late winter. Flowers are nocturnal, highly scented, appear in late summer and fall. They are white, creamy, or slightly pink.

The specific epithet "maughanii" honors Dr. Herbert Maughan Brown (1883-1940), physician and plant collector in South Africa.

Conophytum maughanii

Photo by Marc Mougin

How to Grow and Care for Conophytum maughanii

Light: 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.

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

Hardiness: Conophytum maughanii can withstand temperatures as low as 35 to 50 °F (1.7 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 10b to 11b.

Watering: 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.

Fertilizing: Conophytums are light feeders, and they do not need fertilizer at all unless they are repotted every two years.

Repotting: These succulents will benefit from repotting. The best time to repot a Conophytum is at the beginning of a period of active growth.

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

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Conophytum.

Toxicity of Conophytum maughanii

Conophytums are non-toxic and safe to grow around children and pets.

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