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Schwantesia loeschiana

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Scientific Name

Schwantesia loeschiana Tisch.

Synonyms

Schwantesia herrei f. major, Schwantesia herrei var. minor

Scientific Classification

Family: Aizoaceae
Genus: Schwantesia

Description

Schwantesia loeschiana is a small, stemless succulent that forms a compact tuft of pale grey to dusty green or bluish leaves fused at the base. The leaves are fat, fleshy, and up to 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) long, with sharp, often reddish margins. The new leaves appear from within the old leaf pair fissure, which gives the impression of the plant having sets of alternate appressed leaves. The solitary flowers are yellow, up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter, and appear on a short peduncle.

Schwantesia loeschiana

Photo via cactus-art.biz

Hardiness

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 very 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 withstand temperatures down to the 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.

Origin

Native to Namibia.

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