Gibbaeum velutinum (L.Bolus) Schwantes
Gibbaeum muirii, Gibbaeum schwantesii, Mentocalyx muirii, Mentocalyx velutina, Mesembryanthemum velutinum
Gibbaeum velutinum is a perennial, mat forming succulent up to 2 inches (5 cm) tall. The stems are short, branched, woody and prostrate, with the remnants of old dry leaves, each branch ending in 2 unequal pairs of leaves. The leaves are fleshy, joined at the base, finger-like, mostly broad-triangular, more or less horizontally compressed and strongly keeled beneath. The are velvety, bluish grey-green, dark green, green-brown or silvery-grey. The epidermis is covered by characteristic minuscule branching hairs. The flowers are daisy-like, pale pink-violet to pale magenta and up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter.
USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Mesembs are mostly adapted to relatively predictable rainfall patterns rather than extreme drought and irregular rainfall. Total rainfall may be extremely low, but water is available at least seasonally or through fog and condensation. This leads to or allows plants which are not especially large and sometimes very small, and affects the way they need to be treated in cultivation.
The basics of care are very simple, with free-draining soil, plenty of sun and ventilation, and regular light watering in the right season. Yet the difficulties are endless, trying to adapt to the Mesembs' own adaptability and to follow their growth habits in your particular conditions.
These plants require a loam-based compost with the addition of extra drainage material such as horticultural grit or perlite. They all like good light conditions and plenty of ventilation.
Some are relatively cold-hardy and can even survive mild winters outside. Most will survive temperatures down to freezing point. There are some Mesembs which begin to grow in the fall as the temperature drops and the days get shorter… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Mesembs
Gibbaeum velutinum is native to South Africa (Western Cape).
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