Monsonia multifida E.Mey.
Bushman's Candle, Candle Bush
Monsonia multifida, also known as Sarcocaulon multifidum, is a dwarf, semi-erect shrub, up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall, with succulent branches, up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) in diameter, that extend out horizontally. The stems are usually not spined and may be light or dark-colored. The leaves are deeply divided into closely spaced narrow, oblong segments, giving a frilly impression. White woolly hairs of a fine texture cover the leaves densely. The flowers are up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) in diameter and have five pink petals with magenta blotches near the petal bases. The corolla may also be white. Pinkish red veins are sometimes seen on the petal surfaces.
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. With the exception of Monsonia camdeboensis and Monsonia vanderietiae, they rarely produce an extensive new root system once they have been 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 has been added. Seeds should be sown just under the surface of the soil in large seed trays. They should be planted out 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 whilst they are in active growth and occasionally during dormancy.
Monsonia salmoniflora has a good deal of potential for the landscaping trade. The species is easily and relatively quickly grown from seed, and long-lived. See more at How to Grow and Care for Monsonia.
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