Stoeberia frutescens (L.Bolus) van Jaarsv.
Mesembryanthemum frutescens (basionym), Ruschia frutescens, Stoeberia beetzii var. arborescens
Stoeberia frutescens is a spreading shrub up to 2.5 feet (75 cm) tall. Leaves are up to 2.2 inches (5.5 cm) long) and grow in equal, opposite pairs, decussate upon the stems. Older leaves are dull to dark blue-green and smooth until moisture loss causes wrinkling. Young leaf-pairs are bright green. Internodes vary in length in accordance with growing conditions. Flowers are up to 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) in diameter, white with erect stamens in the center and their tips flushed pink.
USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °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 the 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.
Stoeberia frutescens is native to Namibia.
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