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Pleiospilos nelii (Split Rock)


Scientific Name

Pleiospilos nelii Schwantes

Common Names

Split Rock, Cleft Stone, Mimicry Plant


Pleiospilos pedunculatus, Pleiospilos tricolor

Scientific Classification

Family: Aizoaceae
Subfamily: Ruschioideae
Tribe: Ruschieae
Genus: Pleiospilos


Pleiospilos nelii is a perennial succulent up to 3.2 inches (8 cm) tall and up to 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. This stemless plant has 2 or 4, opposite, almost hemispherical, grey-green or brownish leaves. They have a deep fissure in the middle and many small, dark spots on the surface. A new pair of leaves is produced each year. The daisy-like flowers are yellow-orange, up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter and emerge from the center of the leaves. They are large in relation to the size of the plant. The flowers bloom in the afternoon and close at sunset. The flowering period extends from early spring to mid summer.


USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

The basics of Mesemb care are very simple, with free-draining soil, plenty of sun and ventilation, and regular light watering in the right season. Yet the difficulties are endless, trying to adapt to the Mesembs' own adaptability and to follow their growth habits in your particular conditions.

Mesembs require a loam-based compost with the addition of extra drainage material such as horticultural grit or perlite. They all like good light conditions and plenty of ventilation.

Some are relatively cold-hardy and can even survive mild winters outside. Most will survive temperatures down to freezing point. There are some Mesembs which begin to grow in the autumn as the temperature drops and the days get shorter.

Because different genera within the Mesemb family have different growing conditions, care mast be taken with watering. Some genera will benefit from a light spray water to prevent shrivelling during their dormant period… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Mesembs


Pleiospilos nelii is native to South Africa.

Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars and Hybrids


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