Edithcolea grandis N. E. Br.
Persian Carpet Flower
Edithcolea grandis is a succulent plant with leafless, richly branched stems and attractive pale yellow flowers with red-brown spots. The stems are decumbent, sharp-toothed, 4- or 5-angled, grey-green to red with brownish spots, and can grow up to 12 inches (30 cm) long and 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter.
The bisexual hairy-margined flowers are up to 5 inches (12.5 cm) in diameter and appear at the end of the shoots. The numerous winged seeds are encased in twin seed horns (follicles).
USDA hardiness zones 10b to 11b: from 35 °F (+1.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Persian Carpet Flower is occasionally cultivated as an ornamental in desert gardens worldwide. However, it has gained a reputation as a particularly difficult plant to keep alive because of its specific growing needs with much light and relatively high winter temperatures above 60 °F (15 °C).
This plant requires moderate watering through the growing season but enjoys plenty of water and fertilizer in hot weather. This helps them to flower freely. Allow the soil to dry out before watering again. Water sparingly in winter according to temperatures.
Since roots are quite shallow, use a succulent mix or add extra perlite or pumice to regular potting soil. A gritty, free-draining compost is suitable, and clay pots help the plants dry out between watering.
Repot every 2 to 3 years in spring, well before the first new growth emerges.
Propagation by stem cuttings is the easiest method used. Allow cuttings to dry a day before planting. Stems must be laid (not buried) on gritty compost, and then they will root from the underside. It can also be grown from seeds. The seeds should be sown in spring in moist, sandy peat moss.
This plant is very susceptible to root rot at low temperatures and mealybugs, and damage from these may well initiate fungal attacks. However, if you have problems with a stem or basal rotting, you can reliably isolate the healthy parts, dry them off, and reroot them in moist compost.
The stem of the Persian Carpet Flower is eaten as a vegetable in Ethiopia and Somalia.
- Back to genus Edithcolea
- 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.