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Monsonia vanderietiae (Bushman's Candle)


Scientific Name

Monsonia vanderietiae (L.Bolus) F.Albers

Common Names

Bushman's Candle, Candle Bush


Sarcocaulon vanderietiae (basionym)

Scientific Classification

Family: Geraniaceae
Genus: Monsonia


Monsonia vanderietiae is a perennial, deciduous, succulent undershrub, up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall and up to 10 inches (25 cm) in diameter. The branches are up to 0.4 inch (1 cm) in diameter, sparsely spined, which grow mostly horizontally close to ground-level, bark dark grayish to olive-green. The main trunk is up 3.2 inches (8 cm) in diameter. The spines are thin, straight and up to 1 inch (25 cm) long. The leaves are small, fleshy, bright green and broadly elliptic to heart-shaped. The flowers pink to white and up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) across.

Monsonia vanderietiae (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 South Africa.


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