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Monilaria moniliformis (Bunny Succulent)

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Scientific Name

Monilaria moniliformis Ihlenf. & Joergens.

Common Names

Bunny Succulent, Bunny Ear Succulent, String of Pearls, Beaded Vygie, Beaded Ice Plant

Synonyms

Mesembryanthemum moniliforme

Scientific Classification

Family: Aizoaceae
Subfamily: Ruschioideae
Genus: Monilaria

Description

Monilaria moniliformis is a beautiful small, sparsely branched succulent shrub that grows up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall. The swollen stems can grow up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) in diameter. Leaves are short-lived and arranged in opposite pairs. They are very soft, cylindrical, up to 6 inches (15 cm) long, and up to 0.2 inches (0.5 cm) in diameter. This plant is a winter grower, and its leaves disappear in summer. The solitary flowers are white with a yellow center and up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter. The name "moniliformis" is derived from the Latin "monile," meaning "necklace."

Hardiness

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 that are not especially large and sometimes very small and affects how they need to be treated in cultivation.

The basics of care are very simple: free-draining soil, plenty of sun and ventilation, and regular light watering in the right season. 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 survive temperatures down to the freezing point. Some Mesembs begin to grow in the fall as the temperature drops and the days get shorter.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Mesembs.

Origin

Monilaria moniliformis is native to South Africa.

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