Conophytum smorenskaduense de Boer
This species is native to South Africa. It occurs on quartzite hills on the farm Smorenskadu (Smorgenskadu), 25 mi (40 km) east of Springbok in the Northern Cape, bordering the winter and summer rainfall regions.
Conophytum smorenskaduense is a dwarf succulent with two opposite leaves fused into one body. In habitat, it usually grows solitary or in pairs but forms small clumps in cultivation. The bodies are cylindrical, up to 0.9 inches (2.2 cm) tall and up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) in diameter. The epidermis is yellowish-green, never reddening, and covered with tiny, translucent, slightly raised blisters. The solitary flowers are diurnal, long-lasting, with magenta-colored petals, and appear from the new leaf pair developed inside the main body in winter.
The specific epithet "smorenskaduense (smor-ens-kad-oo-EN-see)" means "of or from Smorenskadu" and refers to the farm Smorenskadu, also called Smorgenskadu, the natural habitat of this species.
How to Grow and Care for Conophytum smorenskaduense
Light: This succulent needs bright light but does not like too much direct sun. To avoid sunburn, place your C. smorenskaduense 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. smorenskaduense 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. smorenskaduense 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. smorenskaduense 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. smorenskaduense 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. smorenskaduense 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 friedrichiae
C. smorenskaduense is non-toxic and safe to grow around children and pets.
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