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Conophytum wettsteinii (Cone Plants)

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Scientific Name

Conophytum wettsteinii (Berger) N.E.Br.

Common Names

Cone Plants, Dumplings, Button Plants

Synonyms

Mesembryanthemum wettsteinii (basionym), Conophytum wettsteinii var. wettsteinii, Conophytum brevipes, Conophytum circumpunctatum

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Conophytum wettsteinii is a small succulent with a broad top up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) across and narrowed base. Individual plants seem circular from above, with fissures up to 0.16 inch (4 mm) long. The plant has a green to blue-green with a spotted, smooth epidermis which may appear glossy. It flowers only in fall, with scentless flowers opening during the day. The flowers are short and wide, ranging in color from magenta to pale pink or rarely white.

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Conophytums are usually grown in dish gardens where they spread slowly but make good ornamental plants for window gardening. They also do well in rockeries where they can be grown in crevices.

These plants vegetate during the winter season. They must then be kept dry during hot, gradually wet upon fall arrival. The moisture stimulate the release of new root hairs and the plant will grow for the entire winter season, foliar issuing new pairs from inside the existing ones. Flowering usually occurs in fall and the color of the flowers is extremely variable from species to species. The cultivation is quite easy, but care must be taken to avoid excess water and to prevent rot. The plants themselves communicate their water needs with a slight wrinkling of the epidermis. They do not particularly fear the cold weather and can resist also at temperatures of 23 °F (-5 °C) as long as the soil is completely dry and the temperature returns rapidly to rise.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Conophytum.

Origin

Conophytum wettsteinii is native to South Africa.

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