Machairophyllum brevifolium L.Bolus
Machairophyllum brevifolium is a nearly stemless succulent with glabrous gray-green leaves. It grows up to 2 inches (5 cm) tall. Leaves are triangular in cross-section, up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long, up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide, and up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) thick. The solitary flowers are bright yellow and appear in spring and early summer, opening in the afternoon or evening. They are up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) long and up to 1.8 inches (4.5 cm) in diameter.
USDA hardiness zones 10b to 11b: from 35 °F (+1.7 °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 that 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' adaptability and follow their growth habits in your particular conditions.
These plants require a loam-based compost with 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 withstand temperatures down to the freezing point. Some Mesembs 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.
This species is native to South Africa (Western Cape).
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