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Conophytum truncatum (Eastern Buttons)


Scientific Name

Conophytum truncatum (Thunb.) N. E. Br.

Common Names

Dumpling, Dumplings, Eastern Buttons


Conophytum truncatum var. truncatum, Conophytum wagnerianum

Scientific Classification

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


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, and about the same in diameter, 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 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 his plant, but it can be damaged when the temperature goes 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 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 plant needs water.

Fertilizing: This small succulent is a light feeder, and it does not need fertilizer unless it is 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.


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