Trichodiadema barbatum Schwantes
Mesembryanthemum barbatum, Mesembryanthemum stellatum, Mesembryanthemum stelligerum, Trichodiadema stellatum, Trichodiadema stelligerum
Trichodiadema barbatum is a slow-growing succulent, erect at first, then lays over to become a groundcover with a tuberous root base barely exposed. It grows up to 12 inches (30 cm) in height. Leaves are green, tipped with tufty bristles of soft white hairs. They are cylindrical and up to 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) long. Flowers are small, pink to light purple, with a yellow center, and appear from later winter to mid-spring. They open fully around midday when grown in bright light or full sun.
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 that 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' adaptability and 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 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.
This species is native to South Africa.
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