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Smicrostigma viride

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Scientific Name

Smicrostigma viride (Haw.) N.E. Br.

Synonyms

Mesembryanthemum viride (basionym), Acrodon bellidiflorus var. viridis, Erepsia viridis, Mesembryanthemum integrum, Ruschia integra, Ruschia viridis

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Smicrostigma viride is a low-growing shrublet, up to 16 inches (40 cm) tall, with smooth, succulent stems which become woody with age. The leaves are hooked and triangular in cross section. They are fused into pairs at the base, to sheath the stem below. The flowers are light pink to usually purple, up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter and appear singly on the stem tips in spring and summer. The woody fruit capsules store the small, pear-shaped, brown to black, rough-surfaced seeds in 7 to 10 chambers.

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °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 which are not especially large and sometimes very small, and affects the way they need to be treated in cultivation.

The basics of care are very simple, with 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' own adaptability and to follow their growth habits in your particular conditions.

These plants require a loam-based compost with the addition of 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 freezing point. There are some Mesembs which 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

Smicrostigma viride is native to South Africa (from Worcester in the Western Cape to Uniondale in the Eastern Cape Province).

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