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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 inches (5 cm) wide, open rosettes. They 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 up to 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. The flowers appear in early fall. The flowering rosette dies after flowering but is quickly replaced by offsetting ones.

Photo via flickr.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 6a to 10b: from −10 °F (−23.3 °C) to 40 °F (+4.4 °C).

How to Grow and Care

As with most similar genera of Crassulaceae family, 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. It grows actively in spring and summer.

Orostachys self-propagates through offshoots and given time one plant will form a dense mat of many. Propagation is primarily through offset separation.

To separate an offset, remove soil from the base of the offset to find the stolon (thick root which attaches the pup to the mother plant). It is best to use an offset which has already established some roots of its own. Cut the stolon close to the pup (to discourage roots growing from the stolon). Place the offset into a small pot with well-draining, sandy soil. Do not water until new growth is noted… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Orostachys

Origin

Orostachys boehmeri is native to Japan.

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