Frithia pulchra N.E.Br.
Window Plants, Baby Toes, Fairy Elephant's Feet, Transvaal Fairy Elephant's Feet
Frithia pulchra is a dwarf succulent that forms clusters of thick fleshy grey-green leaves with a translucent window at the tip. It is similar to Fenestraria rhopalophylla, but its leaves are more tubular, and the flowers are bright magenta with a white or light yellow center. Leaves are club-shaped, up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) long, and up to 0.2 inches (0.5 cm) in diameter. They are arranged in clusters and often partially buried. Flowers are daisy-like, up to 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) in diameter, and appear in late winter. Fruits are quite robust, spongy, yellow to ochre capsules, resembling a barrel up to 0.2 inches (0.5 cm) in diameter.
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 thoroughly 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 due to overwatering and poor ventilation, especially when weather conditions are dull and cool or very humid. Keep dry in the winter. They do well in the full blazing sun and 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.
Frithia pulchra is native to South Africa (Gauteng, North West).
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