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Monsonia patersonii (Bushman's Candle)


Scientific Name

Monsonia patersonii DC.

Common Names

Bushman's Candle, Candle Bush


Sarcocaulon patersonii, Monsonia macilenta, Sarcocaulon rigidum

Scientific Classification

Family: Geraniaceae
Genus: Monsonia


Monsonia patersonii is a spiny, erect to spreading-ascending, succulent shrub or shrublet up to 20 inches (50 cm) tall. The branches are usually more than 10 mm wide. The leaves are deciduous, oblong, wedge-shaped, green, up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long and up to 0.6 inch (1.5 cm) wide. The flowers are hermaphrodite, solitary, up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter, with 5 petals and 5 sepals. Petals are up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long and rose, pale magenta or purple in color.

Monsonia patersonii - Bushman's Candle

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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. With the exception of Monsonia camdeboensis and Monsonia vanderietiae, 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 2 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


Native to Namibia and South Africa.


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