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Ruschia lineolata (Carpet of Stars)

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Scientific Name

Ruschia lineolata Schwantes

Common Names

Carpet of Stars

Synonyms

Mesembryanthemum lineolatum

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Ruschia lineolata is a dense, mat-forming, evergreen, succulent plant that grows up to 2 inches (5 cm) tall and spreads up to 2 feet (60 cm) wide, with thin red stems, bearing small, up to 0.5 inch (1.3 cm) long, green, narrow, 3-angled, succulent leaves. These leaves are held in opposite pairs, perpendicular to the previous pair in a neat crisscross manner, with new leaves emerging like small, pursed lips. In early spring appear in mass up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide, white flowers, that have a distinct magenta-pink midstripe. From a distance the flowers appear pink but on close inspection are attractively candy-striped. There can also be a second lighter flowering in fall.

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Ruschias are popular for use in the garden. Their tolerance of drought makes them ideal water-wise plants in the arid and semi-arid parts of the world. Brilliant seasonal color displays can be achieved by mass planting in large areas and by using many different growth forms.

There are tufted, round-shaped plants, which are well suited for containers and flower boxes. The low-growing and spreading species cover well and will do wonders to terraces, embankments and will easily stabilize loose sand. Then there are the bigger, more robust types, which are best used among other larger plants or in combination with other succulents in rock gardens and mixed beds.

Remember that Ruschias are short lived and it is therefore essential to continue replanting every 3 years. As mentioned before all species attract a host of insects, and they are thus ideal subjects to attract wildlife to the garden throughout the year.

Once rooted or germinated, cuttings and seedlings can be fed with organic fertilizers to enhance vigor and health. There are not many serious pests that attack Ruschia. It is probably better to first use biological control when pests are detected... – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Ruschia

Origin

Native to South Africa.

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