Conophytum truncatum (Thunb.) N. E. Br.
Dumpling, Dumplings, Eastern Buttons
Conophytum truncatum var. truncatum, Conophytum wagnerianum
This species is native to South Africa (eastern parts of the Little Karoo, Western Cape). It is the easternmost species of the genus Conophytum.
Conophytum truncatum is a dwarf succulent that produces many bodies of two fused leaves densely clustered in a big mound. It is a very variable species in size, shape, color, and pattern. Bodies are inverted cone-shaped, up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) tall, nearly equal in diameter, and often half that size. They are greyish-green to yellowish-green or reddish, attractively spotted, sometimes streaked or completely unmarked. Flowers are nocturnal, scented, white, pale yellow, or pinkish, and appear in fall.
The specific epithet "truncatum" derives from the Latin adjective "truncātus," meaning "cut off or truncated," and refers to the truncated bodies.
How to Grow and Care for Conophytum truncatum
Light: This succulent needs bright light but does not like too much direct sunlight. To avoid sunburn, place your C. truncatum 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. truncatum thrives best in porous soil mixes that allow water to drain away quickly. Use a commercial soil specially designed for growing succulents or make your own mix.
Hardiness: Hight temperatures are not a problem for his plant, but it can be damaged when the temperatures go below freezing. C. truncatum can withstand temperatures as low as 30 to 50 °F (-1.1 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b.
Watering: When it goes dormant in the spring, C. truncatum requires little or no water. In the fall, when it begins growing, it is safe to water deeply, allowing the soil to dry before watering again. During active growth, your plant needs water if leaves start to wrinkle.
Fertilizing: This small succulent is a light feeder and does not need fertilizer unless repotted every two years.
Repotting: The best time to repot C. truncatum 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: Like all Conophytums, this plant is easily propagated by division. It can also be grown from seeds. The best time to divide C. truncatum 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 truncatum
C. truncatum is non-toxic and safe to grow around children and pets.
- Back to genus Conophytum
- Succupedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus
Click on a photo to see a larger version.