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Othonna capensis (Little Pickles)

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Scientific Name

Othonna capensis L.H.Bailey

Common Names

Little Pickles

Synonyms

Othonna crassifolia, Aster elongatus var. crassifolius

Scientific Classification

Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribe: Senecioneae
Genus: Othonna

Description

Othonna capensis is a low-growing succulent with a spreading habit. It grows up to 4 inches (10 cm) tall with a spread of up to 1 foot (30 cm). Leaves are upright, spirally arranged, pickle-shaped, and up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long. They are bluish-green, often with shades of yellow, lavender, and red when stressed. Flowers are yellow, daisy-like, 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) in diameter, and appear from mid-spring through fall, sometimes year-round. They emerge from pea-shaped, violet-hued buds and rise to 2 inches (5 cm) above the foliage.

Othonna capensis - Little Pickles

Photo via flickr.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 8a to 10b: from 10 °F (−12.2 °C) to 50 °F (+4.4 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Othonnas fleshy leaves and daisy-like flowers make them excellent in a desert or rock garden (where hardy) or indoors as houseplants or greenhouse specimens.

Othonnas tend to be fairly hardy, but some of them, as Othonna cacalioides, can be extremely difficult in cultivation if you do not give them the right conditions: space to develop a radicular system, better to keep them in flat pots. In summer, protect plants from direct sunlight. In the growing season, they like to be moist, fresh, and plenty of light. They don't like temperatures below 50°F (10°C).

In the warmer months, Othonnas go into their dormancy period. Stop watering, place them in a shaded, cooler, relatively dry area, away from getting direct sunlight and with good air circulation. In the fall, when nights cool down, the plants may start growing on their own, but a good soaking will help them to leaf out.

A typical succulent soil mix should be suitable for growing Othonnas, but additional drainage material would be recommended.

See more at How to Grow and Care for Othonna.

Origin

Native to South Africa.

Cultivars

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