Tylecodon striatus (Hutchison) Toelken
This species is native to South Africa (Northern Cape and Western Cape ). It grows on rocky slopes usually sheltered under rocks or shrubs in the mountains west of Vioolsdrif but recorded mainly from Namaqualand south of the Kamiesberg and occasionally from the northeastern parts of the Cederberg mountains.
Tylecodon striatus is a small succulent shrub with usually few erect or spreading branches that arise from an irregular tuberous base. It grows up to 10 inches (25 cm) tall. The tuber is up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) in diameter. Older branches are covered with yellowish peeling bark and remains of old leaves attached to decurrent leaf bases, rarely phyllopodia. Young branches have pale grey-green bark with dark grey striations. Leaves are linear, with the upper face grooved or channeled, rarely flat, and usually greyish-green. They are up to 2.8 inches (7 cm) long and 0.2 inches (0.5 cm) in diameter. Flowers are tubular, up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) long, yellowish-green below, and with reddish-brown veins above. They appear in elongated, up to 14 inches (35 cm) tall, glandular-pubescent thyrses with 1 to 5 monochasia in mid-summer after the leaves start to drop off.
The specific epithet "striatus (stree-AH-tus)" means "furrowed" or "grooved, fluted, striated" and refers to the upper face of the leaves, which is usually grooved or channeled. It is the perfect passive participle of the Latin verb "strio."
How to Grow and Care for Tylecodon striatus
Light: This succulent can survive direct sunlight exposure without any problems, but it will grow beautifully in partial shade.
Soil: A well-draining soil mix is a key to healthy T. striatus. Poor drainage and overwatering most commonly cause root rot in both indoor and outdoor plants. Indoors, it is essential to use pots with at least one drainage hole at the bottom.
Temperature: Like all Tylecodons, this succulent is highly tolerant when it comes to high temperatures and also tolerant of cold, frost-free conditions during the winter. T. striatus can withstand temperatures as low as 30 °F (-1.1 °C). USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 10a to 11b, 30 to 50 °F (-1.1 to 10 °C).
Watering: As a winter grower, T. striatus requires careful watering during winter and spring. Get the soil wet, and then wait until it is dry before watering again. In summer, reduce watering to once per month.
Fertilizing: Use liquid fertilizer for cacti and other succulents during the winter months.
Repotting: You do not need to repot this plant often. You can do it when you see that the container becomes too small or shallow.
Propagation: T. striatus can be cultivated either by seed or by cuttings. Sow the seeds in fall and winter. The best time for taking cuttings is the fall.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Tylecodon.
Toxicity of Tylecodon striatus
T. striatus is adapted to avoid animal predation being poisonous. Therefore, keep it away from children, pets, and livestock.
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