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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, evergreen succulent with a spreading habit. It grows up to 4 inches (10 cm) tall and spreads up to 1 foot (30 cm) wide. 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. From mid-spring through fall and sometimes year-round appear the bright yellow 0.5 inch (1.3 cm) wide, daisy-like flowers. They emerge from pea-shaped, violet-hued buds and rise up to 2 inches (5 cm) above the foliage.

Photo via flickr.com

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 the radicular system, better to keep them in flat pots. In summer protect plants from direct sunlight. In growing season they like to be moist, fresh and plenty 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 area, away from getting direct sunlight and with good air circulation, relatively dry. In the fall, sometime around early to mid-October 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.

Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars, and Hybrids

Links

BACK TO genus Othonna
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