Schwantesia pillansii L. Bolus
This species is native to South Africa. It occurs between Pofadder and Kakamas in Northern Cape, growing in sandy soil, mostly in crevices of steep quartzite slopes.
Schwantesia pillansii is a compact dwarf succulent with opposite, boat-shaped, erect to spreading leaves. The old leaves shrivel and die as the new pairs form. The solitary flower is yellow, up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter, and open during the day.
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 affect 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 survive 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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