Monsonia vanderietiae (L.Bolus) F.Albers
Bushman's Candle, Candle Bush
Monsonia vanderietiae is a small, deciduous succulent shrub with sparsely spined branches which grow mostly horizontally close to ground level. It grows up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall and 10 inches (25 cm) in diameter. The main trunk is up to 3.2 inches (8 cm) in diameter, and branches are up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) in diameter. The bark is dark grayish to olive-green. Spines are thin, straight, and up to 1 inch (25 cm) long. Leaves are small, fleshy, bright green, and broadly elliptic to heart-shaped. Flowers are pink to white and up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) across.
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.
This species is native to South Africa.
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