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Conophytum obcordellum (Dumpling)


Scientific Name

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

Common Names

Dumpling, Greater Dumpling, Spotted Buttons


Conophytum declinatum, Conophytum germanum, Conophytum giftbergense, Conophytum impressum, Conophytum lambertense, Conophytum longifissum, Conophytum multicolor, Conophytum mundum, Conophytum nevillei, Conophytum obconellum, Conophytum obcordellum f. stayneri, Conophytum obcordellum f. ursprungianum, Conophytum obcordellum var. germanum, Conophytum obcordellum var. mundum, Conophytum obcordellum var. obcordellum, Conophytum obcordellum var. parvipetalum, Conophytum parviflorum, Conophytum parviflorum var. impressum, Conophytum parvipetalum, Conophytum picturatum, Conophytum spectabile, Conophytum ursprungianum, Conophytum ursprungianum var. stayneri, Conophytum ursprungianum var. ursprungianum

Scientific Classification

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


Native to South Africa (Northern Cape and Western Cape).


Conophytum obcordellum is a dwarf succulent that forms clumps of bodies composed of two fused leaves. The bodies are up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) tall and up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) in diameter. The bodies' upper surface is kidney-shaped, pale blue-green, gray-green, or yellow-green and decorated with dark green, red, or almost black lines and dots. Unspotted parts of the bodies are pink to dark red. Flowers are daisy-like, usually solitary, white, pale yellow, pink, or magenta, often with red tips. They appear at night, generally in the fall. Fruits are 4- to 6-locular capsules.

The specific epithet "obcordellum" means "small heart-shaped and attached at the pointed end." It derives from the Latin prefix "ob," meaning "toward, to, on, over, or against," noun "cord," meaning "heart," and the diminutive suffix "ellum," and refers to the shape of the bodies.

Conophytum obcordellum (Dumpling)

Photo by Hiroshi Sudo

How to Grow and Care for Conophytum obcordellum

Light: Most Conophytums need bright light but do not like too much intense sunlight. To avoid sunburn, place your C. obcordellum 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. obcordellum thrives best in porous soil mixes that allow water to penetrates easily and drains away quickly. Use a commercial soil specially designed for growing succulents or make your own mix.

Hardiness: Hight temperatures are not a problem for Conophytums, but they can be damaged when the temperature goes below 32 °F (0 °C). C. obcordellum 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. During active growth, if leaves start to wrinkle, your C. obcordellum needs water.

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

Repotting: The best time to repot C. obcordellum 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: Conophytums are easily propagated by division. They can also be grown from seeds. The best time to divide C. obcordellum is in late summer or early fall, before the plant 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 obcordellum

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


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