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Frithia humilis (Fairy Elephant's Feet)

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Scientific Name

Frithia humilis Burgoyne

Common Names

Fairy Elephant's Feet, Baby Toes, Window Plants

Synonyms

Frithia pulchra var. minor

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Frithia humilis is a dwarf, stemless succulent that consists of a cluster of finger-like leaves that stick out just above the soil surface, with a thickened underground rootstock. Leaves are grey-green and windowed at the tips. Flowers are white with a yellow center, sometimes tipped with light pink. They are stalkless or borne singly on very short stalks and about 0.8 inch (2 cm) in diameter.

Photo by F. Arias

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Frithias are summer growers and relatively easy to cultivate. They need light sporadic watering during their winter resting period and require moderate sprinkling in summer as they are rot prone if kept too moist when the heat turns off their growth cycle. Gritty, well-drained soil, containing a small amount of organic material will keep these species happy.

These succulent plants can be grown in pots or out of doors in a rockery. Soak the compost fully but allow it to dry out perfectly between waterings. Underwatering can lead to disastrous results, so be generous with water in summer. Nearly all problems occur as a result of overwatering and poor ventilation, especially when weather conditions are dull and cool or very humid. Keep dry in the winter. They do well in full blazing sun, as well as whit some shade in summer.

Frithias can be grown from seed, sown in a gritty sandstone medium or propagated vegetatively by division.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Frithia.

Origin

Frithia humilis is native to South Africa (Gauteng, Mpumalanga).

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