Schwantesia loeschiana Tisch.
Schwantesia herrei f. major, Schwantesia herrei subsp. minor, Schwantesia herrei var. minor
This species is native to Namibia (south of Lüderitz).
Schwantesia loeschiana is a small succulent with a very short stem with 2 to 4 pairs of pale grey to dusty green or bluish leaves fused at the base. The leaves are thick, fleshy, and triangular in cross section, with sharp, often reddish margins and up to 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) long. The new leaves appear from the fissure between the old leaf pair. The solitary flower is yellow, up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter, and appears on a short peduncle in fall. The fruit is a capsule with low rims and contains tiny seeds.
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 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.
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