Monsonia patersonii DC.
Bushman's Candle, Candle Bush
Sarcocaulon patersonii, Monsonia macilenta, Sarcocaulon rigidum
Monsonia patersonii is a deciduous succulent shrub with spiny, erect to spreading-ascending branches and oblong green leaves. It grows up to 20 inches (50 cm) tall. Branches are usually more than 0.4 inches (1 cm) in diameter. Leaves are up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long and 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) wide. Hermaphrodite flowers are up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter, with five petals and five sepals. Petals rose, pale magenta, or purple.
USDA hardiness zone 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 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 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 easily and relatively quickly grown from seed and long-lived.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Monsonia.
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