Glottiphyllum oligocarpum is probably the most impressive of all the members of the genus.
Glottiphyllum oligocarpum L.Bolus
Tongue Leaf Plant, Tongue Plant
Glottiphyllum oligocarpum is a cute dwarf succulent with tongue-shaped leaves arranged in two opposite vertical rows. It branches at the base as it matures, forming a dense clump. The green leaves are covered with a white coating of wax. They are very fleshy and can grow up to 1.8 inches (4.5 cm) long and 0.5 inches (1.2 cm) thick.
The plant produces yellow daisy-like flowers in the fall with many narrow petals. They can reach up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter. The stalk-less fruits are 6- to 8-locular capsules that fall off the plant when they dry out, becoming tumble fruits and spreading the seeds.
Glottiphyllum oligocarpum is native to South Africa. It occurs on open quartz flats near Willowmore, Steytlerville, and Jansenville in the Eastern Cape province.
The specific epithet "oligocarpum (ol-ig-oh-KAR-pum)" means "few-fruited."
How to Grow and Care for Glottiphyllum oligocarpum
Light: Glottiphyllum oligocarpum requires bright light but not too much direct sunlight. So, a windowsill that receives 4 to 5 hours of direct sunlight in the morning and partial shade in the afternoon will be a perfect spot for indoor growing.
Soil: The plant thrives in porous soil, allowing the water to drain away quickly. Therefore, use commercial soil for succulents or make your own well-draining mix.
Temperature: High temperatures are not a problem as long as there is plenty of fresh air, but this plant is not cold-hardy. It grows best in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 9b to 11b, with average minimum winter temperatures ranging from 25 to 50 °F (-3.9 to 10 °C).
Watering: To keep Glottiphyllum oligocarpum healthy, it is most important to know when, how much, and how often to water. During the dormant period, usually in summer, the plant requires little or no water. In the fall, once it grows again, water thoroughly but allow the soil to dry between waterings.
Fertilizing: As long as you repot this plant every two years, it does not need fertilizer.
Repotting: Even if it can stay happy in the same pot for years, once in a while, you can repot your plant to give it more space anytime during the growing season. However, the best time is at the beginning of the growing season.
Propagation: Although it is usually started from seeds, Glottiphyllum oligocarpum also can be easily propagated by division. Late summer, just before it begins to break dormancy, is the best time to divide the plant, while the fall is ideal for sowing the seeds.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Mesembs.
Toxicity of Glottiphyllum oligocarpum
Glottiphyllum oligocarpum is considered non-toxic, so having it around kids and pets is safe.
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