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Origin and Habitat: Zebrafontein and adjacent area, Northern Cape, South Africa
Description: Cheridopsis bruynsii is a small cushion forming leaf succulent with neat toothy thin red edged leaves, it has approx the size of a Lithops and forms small clumps. Cheiridopsis are dormant in summer.
Stems: Very short with only 2 or 4 leaves.
Leaves: 3-5 cm long sickle-shaped, triangular in cross section, keeled, with 2 reddish minuscule teeth at the wide truncate tip of the leaves. Bluish-grey-green with darker green dots. Margin reddish.
Blooming season: Late autumn.
Remarks: Cheiridopsis are distinguished from Lithops for the fact that the flower has 12 stigmas, versus 5 or 6 in Lithops. This directly affects the number of seed chambers.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Heidrun E. K. Hartmann “Aizoaceae A – E” Springer, 2002
2) Debra Brown Folsom, Huntington Botanical Gardens “Dry climate gardening with succulents” Pantheon Books, 14/mar/1995
3) James Cullen, Sabina G. Knees, H. Suzanne Cubey “The European Garden Flora Flowering Plants: A Manual for the Identification of Plants Cultivated in Europe, Both Out-of-Doors and Under Glass” Cambridge University Press, 11/Aug/2011
4) Le Roux, A. & Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. 1997. Namaqualand . “South African Wild Flower Guide 1.” Botanical Society of SouthAfrica, Cape Town.
5) Barkhuizen, B.P. “Succulents of Southern Africa.” Purnell, Cape Town 1978.
6) Hartmann, H.E.K. “Growth forms and leaves in the genus Cheiridopsis” N. E. Br. Cactus & Succulent Journal (U.S.) 60: 168–173. 1998
Cheiridopsis bruynsii Photo by: Valentino Vallicelli
Zebrafontein Photo by: Valentino Vallicelli
Cultivation and Propagation: Cheiripsis bruynsii is a "winter" grower which are most active from late winter until later spring and heading for summer dormancy, but in favourable growing conditions it keeps going over the summer too and doesn't need particular care.
Soil: Requires good drainage as it it is prone to root rot.
Fertilization: It thrives in poor soils ans seems very sensitive to an excess of potassium.
Watering: Water minimally in summer, only when the plant starts shrivelling, water more abundantly when they are growing in the autumn and spring. Requires little water otherwise its epidermis breaks (resulting in unsightly scars).
Light: It needs a bright sunny or light shade exposure in winter, but keep cool and shaded in summer.
Hardiness: It prefer a very bright situation and will take a light frost (Hardy to -5°C) if it is in dry soil. USDA zones 9A – 11.
Uses: Container, rock garden.
Propagation: Seeds, cuttings. It is easily propagated by seed.
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