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Orostachys boehmeri (Chinese Dunce Cap)

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Scientific Name

Orostachys boehmeri (Makino) Hara

Common Names

Dunce’s Cap, Chinese Dunce Cap

Synonyms

Orostachys iwarenge var. boehmeri

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Sedoideae
Tribe: Sedeae
Subtribe: Umbilicinae
Genus: Orostachys

Description

Orostachys boehmeri is an attractive small succulent with soft lavender-gray leaves in up to 2 inch (5 cm) wide open rosettes that offset readily producing small plantlets on spaghetti thin stems that radiate up to 6 inches (15 cm) away from the mature rosettes to form an open plant to about 1 foot (30 cm) across. After several years these rosettes can produce tiny pale yellow flowers with greenish bracts on up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall spikes. Flowering often commences in early autumn but may begin as late as November. The flowering rosette dies after flowering but is quickly replaced by offsetting ones.

Photo via flickr.com

How to Grow and Care

As with most similar genera of Crassulaceae, this plant can survive in fairly poor soil, so long as it is well draining. This genera is very cold-hardy and can survive temperatures to -30° F (-34° C). Allow soil to dry to the touch between waterings, and avoid getting water on the rosettes. Orostachys requires some bright light. This plant doesn’t tolerate high humidity well. Orostachys grows actively in spring and summer.

In general, this is a good plant to forget about. Leave it in a bright sunny location and water very sparingly. Water in the morning so as to prevent water from remaining on the leaves during the night. Remove any dead leaves from rosettes, as dead leaves invite rot and insects. When a rosette has flowered, it will die shortly… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Orostachys.

Origin

Native to Japan.

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