Monilaria moniliformis Ihlenf. & Joergens.
Bunny Succulent, Bunny Ear Succulent, String of Pearls, Beaded Vygie, Beaded Ice Plant
Conophyllum moniliforme, Mesembryanthemum moniliformis, Schwantesia moniliformis,
This species is native to South Africa. It occurs from Vanrhynsdorp to Klawer in Western Cape, growing in quartz patches.
Monilaria moniliformis is a beautiful small, sparsely branched succulent shrub with soft barrel-shaped internodes and very soft, cylindrical, short-lived leaves arranged in pairs. It grows up to 5.4 inches (12 cm) tall. Internodes are up to 0.5 inches (1.2 cm) tall, nearly equal in diameter, and covered with terminal sclerotic sheaths. Leaves are up to 4 inches (10 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, up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter, and appear on an up to 4 inches (10 cm) long pedicel in fall and winter.
The generic epithet "moniliformis" means "resembling beads on a string or necklace" and refers to the shape of the branches.
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 affect 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.
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