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Trichodiadema bulbosum (African Bonsai)

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Scientific Name

Trichodiadema bulbosum Schwantes

Common Names

African Bonsai

Synonyms

Mesembryanthemum bulbosum, Mesembryanthemum intonsum

Scientific Classification

Family: Aizoaceae
Genus: Trichodiadema

Description

Trichodiadema bulbosum is a caudiciform succulent up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall, with long stems that branch heavily to form a low, rounded shrub. The small, succulent leaves are bright green to gray-green and covered with a crown of soft, white hairs. From spring to fall, the plant puts on a show of bright pink flowers with yellow-green centers which open fully to greet the sun.

Photo via cacti.co.nz

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 9b to 10b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 40 °F (+4.4 °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 autumn as the temperature drops and the days get shorter… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Mesembs

Origin

Trichodiadema bulbosum is native to South Africa.

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