Pachyphytum longifolium was discovered in 1904 by Carl Albert Purpus (1851-1941), a German botanist and plant collector in Mexico and North America.
Pachyphytum longifolium Rose
Pachyphytum longifolium is a few-branched succulent that forms rosettes of 20 to 60 leaves distinctly distant in the uppermost 2 to 8 inches (5 to 20 cm) of the branches. The stems are typically erect and can grow up to 22 inches (55 cm) tall and 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter, branching from near the base and above. However, they can be sometimes pendent, reaching up to 28 inches (70 cm) in length. The leaves are oblanceolate, up to 4.4 inches (11 cm) long, 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide, and 0.4 inches (1 cm) thick. They are green to blue-green, often more or less violet, and covered with a delicate powdery bloom.
During spring, the plant produces bell-shaped flowers with large, unequal sepals that clasp the white to rose-colored petals. The flowers appear on arching stalks with large bracts in the upper half, reaching up to 16 inches (40 cm) in length. The sepals and bracts are the same color as the leaves.
Pachyphytum longifolium is native to east-central Mexico. It grows on steep rocks of the gorge, apparently also epiphytic, in Barranca de Metztitlán, a biosphere reserve in Hidalgo, at about 3,940 feet (1,200 m) above sea level.
The specific epithet "longifolium (lon-jee-FOH-lee-um)" means "long-leaved," but it is somewhat misleading, as this species has by far not the longest Pachyphytum leaves.
How to Grow and Care for Pachyphytum longifolium
Light: Pachyphytum longifolium thrives when exposed to direct sunlight. While it can tolerate partial shade, it may result in slightly rangy growth. When growing indoors, keep it near a sunny window.
Soil: This plant requires good drainage to maintain a healthy root system. While many growers prefer to create their own soil mix, commercial soil for succulents will work fine.
Temperature: Pachyphytum longifolium is a winter grower and will stop actively growing when it warms up. It grows best in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 10a to 11b, with average minimum winter temperatures ranging from 30 to 50 °F (-1.1 to 10 °C).
Watering: Although a winter grower, this plant is most active during spring and fall. Water thoroughly, then wait for the soil to dry out completely before watering again. During the winter, water sparingly. As the plant goes dormant in spring, it does not need to be watered except for arid conditions.
Fertilizing: To promote healthy growth and flower production, apply a water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half the recommended strength during the growing season.
Repotting: If growing Pachyphytum longifolium in a container, repot it in a pot with drainage holes when it outgrows its pot. Give the plant a week or so to readjust before you water it.
Propagation: The easiest method to propagate this plant is by stem cuttings, although it can also be propagated from leaves and seeds. Even a leaf that drops off will root below the parent plant and produce a new plant. For best results, take cuttings in the spring and sow the seeds in the spring and summer.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Pachyphytum.
Toxicity of Pachyphytum longifolium
Pachyphytum longifolium is generally non-toxic to humans and pets.
- Back to genus Pachyphytum
- Succupedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus
Click on a photo to see a larger version.