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Tulista pumila (Pearl Plant)

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Scientific Name

Tulista pumila (L.) G.D.Rowley

Common Names

Pearl Plant, Miniature Aloe

Synonyms

Aloe pumila (basionym), Haworthia pumila, Aloe arachnoides var. pumila, Haworthia margaritifera, Haworthia maxima

Scientific Classification

Family: Asphodeloideae
Subfamily: Asphodeloideae
Tribe: Aloeae
Genus: Tulista

Description

Tulista pumila, formerly known as Haworthia pumila, is a slow-growing, evergreen succulent, up to 10 inches (25 cm) tall, with triangular leaves arranged in rosettes. What makes this plant interesting are the raised, more or less rounded, greenish-white tubercles that are very conspicuous on the underside of the leaf surface. Leaves are olive-green to brown, upright, sometimes incurved, up to 5.6 inches (14 cm) long and up to 0.8 inch (2 cm) wide. In the summer it produces brownish-white, tubular flowers, on a thin, up to 16 inches (40 cm) tall inflorescence.

Photo via cactuspro.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Pearl Plant is a popular succulent in cultivation, though it can be slow-growing. The plant requires well-drained soil and it is one of the few Tulista species that thrives in full sun. The plant rarely offsets, so most propagation is by seed, though leaf cuttings can also be rooted when larger leaves are used.

Propagating from fresh seed is easy. Seed older than 18 months in most cases is not viable, unless kept under cool, dry conditions. Seed is similar to those of Aloes, but much smaller. Sow the seeds in fall in well-drained, rich, loamy soil. Sow no deeper than 1.2 inch (3 cm). Water enough to keep the soil merely damp and ensure the growing medium is not soggy. A very wet growing medium will cause damping-off of the seedlings or result in the seeds rotting. Viable seed should germinate with 21 days.

Once the seedlings are strong enough, after about one year, transplant into containers. Initially keep strong sunlight off the young plants. Once the plants have adapted to stronger light they can be planted out in the open.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for a Pearl Plant (Tulista pumila).

Origin

Tulista pumila is native to South Africa (Western Cape).

Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars and Hybrids

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