Schwantesia acutipetala L. Bolus
Schwantesia acutipetala is a dwarf succulent that forms a compact clump of erect to spreading, bluish-green leaves fused at their base. The leaves are thick, fleshy, triangular in cross section, tapering to a point on the apex. They are up to 2 inches (5 cm) long and 0.7 inches (1.8 cm) wide.
Flowers are solitary, up to 1.8 inches (4.5 cm) in diameter, with yellow petals, often white basally, and appear on a short peduncle in fall. Fruits are 5-locular capsules.
USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Mesembs are mostly adapted to relatively predictable rainfall patterns rather than extreme drought and irregular rainfall. Total rainfall may be extremely low, but water is available at least seasonally or through fog and condensation. This leads to or allows plants that are not especially large and sometimes very small and affects how they need to be treated in cultivation.
The basics of care are simple: 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' adaptability and follow their growth habits in your particular conditions.
These plants require a loam-based compost with 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 a freezing point. Some Mesembs begin to grow in the fall as the temperature drops and the days get shorter.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Mesembs.
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