Graptopetalum superbum (Kimnach) Acev.-Rosas
Graptopetalum pentandrum subsp. superbum
This species is native to Mexico (Jalisco).
Graptopetalum superbum, formerly known as Graptopetalum pentandrum subsp. superbum, is a stunning shrubby succulent with suberect to semi-decumbent stems and blush to lavender, heavily glaucous leaves that cluster in a rosette at the end of the stems. It grows up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall, branching basally. The rosettes are dense, nearly flat, and up to 5 inches (12.5 cm) in diameter. Leaves are thick, fleshy, soon deciduous, oblong-obovate, with a deltoid mucro, up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) long and 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide. Old plants have been noted with stems up to 7 feet (2.1 m) long, but usually, this plant remains relatively compact, especially when grown in full sun.
Flowers are star-shaped with 5 or 6 greenish-yellow petals with red tips and 2 or 3 crossbands and scattered dots of the same color below. They appear on erect or ascending, up to 16 inches (40 cm) long, multiple-branched inflorescences in late winter to early spring.
The specific epithet "superbum (soo-PER-bum)" means "proud, superior, superb, excellent, distinguished; splendid, magnificent" and refers to the fascinating beauty of this species.
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 summer and let 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 easily propagated 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 and falls off. By then, the new little plant had rooted and sprouted new leaves.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Graptopetalum.
Cultivars and Hybrids
- Back to genus Graptopetalum
- Succupedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus
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