Monsonia camdeboensis (Moffett) F.Albers
Monsonia camdeboensis, also known as Sarcocaulon camdeboense, is a semi-erect shrublet with olive to dark grey branches with rows of single straight spines. It can grow up to 16 inches (40 cm) tall, usually broader than tall. The main stem branches repeatedly from 0.8 to 2 inches (2 to 5 cm) above ground level. The branches are generally up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) in diameter, and most grow roughly parallel to the ground. The plant is leafless during winter. The leaves are green with entire purplish margins and can be long and short petioled. They are narrowly obovate to elliptic, slightly folded upwards, and measure up to 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) long and 0.25 inches (0.6 cm) wide.
The open-faced flowers with pale mimosa petals usually appear during summer. They are up to 0.7 inches (1.8 cm) long and up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) in diameter.
Monsonia camdeboensis is native to South Africa. It is scattered throughout the eastern Great Karoo, growing on rocky dolerite ridges or outcrops on shale plains.
USDA hardiness zones 10b to 11b: from 35 °F (+1.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Monsonia species are generally easy to cultivate. Except for Monsonia camdeboensis and Monsonia vanderietiae, they rarely produce an extensive new root system once transplanted. Transplanted specimens flower sporadically in cultivation but survive for many years.
Seed-grown plants, in contrast, thrive and flower prolifically in cultivation. The ideal cultivation medium for most species is silt collected from the sides of road culverts, to which a small amount of bone meal and some ordinary, sandy garden soil have been added. Seeds should be sown just under the soil's surface in large seed trays. They should be planted into individual containers when they are about two years old.
All Monsonia species require direct sunlight when in full growth. Seedlings need to be regularly watered while they are in active growth and occasionally during dormancy.
Monsonia salmoniflora has a good deal of potential for the landscaping trade. The species is long-lived and easily and relatively quickly grown from seeds.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Monsonia.
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