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Tetraena fontanesii – Sea Grape

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Scientific Name

Tetraena fontanesii (Webb & Berthel.) Beier & Thulin

Common Names

Sea Grape, Canarian Bean Caper

Synonyms

Zygophyllum fontanesii (basionym)

Scientific Classification

Family: Zygophyllaceae
Genus: Tetraena

Description

Tetraena fontanesii is a an odd-appearing, bushy or cushion-like plant up to 20 inches (50 cm) in diameter with spreading woody branches, and thick, green or yellow leaves that looks-like small grapes growing upwards. The small, star-shaped flowers, produced in great profusion during early summer, are pale pink in color, and are followed, later on in the season, by the rounded fruits that turn color from green to orange.

Tetraena fontanesii - Sea Grape

Photo via stridvall.se

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 7a to 10b: from 0 °F (−17.8 °C) to 40 °F (+4.4 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Zygophyllum is found in many deserts and semi deserts of the world, including some of the most arid habitats in which plant life is possible. Species are found in various habitats along hill slopes, dry rivers, ridges, road verges, in coarse sandy soil, calcareous sand and brackish soil.

Species of Zygophyllum are usually not found in cultivation. Some of them are very attractive with their yellow, delicate petals and interesting fruits, and will undoubtedly be suitable for growing in gardens.

Propagation can be done from seed or by taking cuttings in spring.

Origin

It is found in the Macaronesia and northeast Africa.

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