Graptopetalum pentandrum Moran
Five Stamen Graptopetalum
Graptopetalum pentandrum is a succulent shrublet that forms rosettes at the ends of strongly woody stems. The rosettes are up to 3.2 inches (8 cm) in diameter. Stems are dull green, branched, first erect, later slightly decumbent, and up to 6 inches (15 cm) long. Leaves are up to 2.2 inches (5.5 cm) long, up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) wide, first bluish-green, later yellowish-grey, mostly with a lavender hue. Flowers have yellowish-white petals, basing a continuous dark red stripe and upper half almost entirely dark red. They appear in late winter to early spring. G. pentandrum is distinguished from all other species by having only five stamens and long slender inflorescence branches and pedicels.
USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
The rules for Graptopetalum care are similar to those for most succulents. All require lots of sunlight to look their best. They require gritty, porous soil with excellent drainage. Water regularly over the summer months, letting the soil dry out between waterings. Minimal water is required over winter. Overwatering is a cause of root rots, and the plant can get several pest infestations. Fertilize once during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer diluted to 1/4 strength.
Graptopetalums are generally easy to propagate by seeds, leaf cuttings, or offsets. Any rosette that breaks off has the potential to root and start a new plant. Even a leaf that drops off will root below the parent plant and produce a new rosette quickly. The new plant feeds off the leaf until it shrivels up and falls off. By then, the new little plant has rooted and sprouted new leaves.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Graptopetalum.
Graptopetalum pentandrum is native to Mexico. This species was found by Kimnach, growing in a nursery in Mexico in 1970. It turned out to be the same as Alfred Lau's plant discovery LAU-049, found at a waterfall 4 km north of Aguililla in Michoacan in 1987.
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