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Orostachys iwarenge (Chinese Dunce Cap)

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Scientific Name

Orostachys iwarenge (Makino) Hara

Common Names

Chinese Dunce Cap, Dunce's Cap

Synonyms

Cotyledon iwarenge (basionym), Orostachys malacophylla var. iwarenge, Sedum iwarenge

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Orostachys iwarenge is an attractive groundcover with cone-shaped rosettes, up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter, fleshy, lavender grey leaves. Rosettes spread by short stolons to form an up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) tall and 18 inches (45 cm) wide patch. In late summer to early fall, the rosettes are topped with up to 4 inches (10 cm) tall towers jammed with tiny, creamy flowers. Each flowering rosette dies away but is unnoticed among the mass of smaller rosettes.

Photo via flickr.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 4a to 8b: from −30 °F (−34.4 °C) to 20 °F (−6.7 °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.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Orostachys.

Origin

Orostachys iwarenge is native to Japan.

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