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Origin and Habitat: Pleiospilos compactus subs. canus is found near Bloemfontein in the Orange Free State. South Africa.
- Pleiospilos compactus subs. canus (Haw.) H.E.K.Hartmann & Liede
Pleiospilos compactus subs. canus (Haw.) H.E.K.Hartmann & Liede
Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 106(4): 476. 1986 [28 Aug 1986]
- Pleiospilos compactus subs. canus (Haw.) H.E.K.Hartmann & Liede
- Pleiospilos borealis L. Bolus
- Pleiospilos brevisepalus L. Bolus
- Pleiospilos dekenahii (N.E.Br.) Schwantes
- Punctillaria dekenahii N.E.Br.
- Pleiospilos framesii L. Bolus
- Pleiospilos grandiflorus L. Bolus
- Pleiospilos kingiae L. Bolus
- Pleiospilos latifolius L. Bolus
- Pleiospilos latipetalus L. Bolus
- Pleiospilos leipoldtii L. Bolus
- Pleiospilos longisepalus L. Bolus
- Pleiospilos magnipunctatus (Haw.) Schwantes
- Pleiospilos magnipunctatus var. inaequalis L. Bolus
- Pleiospilos nobilis (Haw.) Schwantes
- Pleiospilos peersii L. Bolus
- Pleiospilos rouxii L. Bolus
- Pleiospilos sesquiuncialis (N.E.Br.) Schwantes
- Punctillaria sesquiuncialis N.E.Br.
- Pleiospilos willowmorensis L. Bolus
Pleiospilos compactus (Aiton) Schwantes
Z. Sukkulentenk. 3: 23 1927
- Pleiospilos compactus (Aiton) Schwantes
- Pleiospilos longibracteatus L. Bolus
- Pleiospilos optatus (N.E.Br.) Schwantes
Pleiospilos compactus subs. fergusoniae (L. Bolus) H.E.K.Hartmann & Liede
Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 106(4): 478. 1986 [28 Aug 1986]
- Pleiospilos compactus subs. fergusoniae (L. Bolus) H.E.K.Hartmann & Liede
- Pleiospilos fergusoniae L. Bolus
Pleiospilos compactus subs. minor (L. Bolus) H.E.K.Hartmann & Liede
Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 106(4): 479. 1986 [28 Aug 1986]
Pleiospilos compactus subs. sororius (N.E.Br.) H.E.K.Hartmann & Liede
Bot. Jahrb. Syst. ( N.E.Br. ) H.E.K.Hartmann & Liede
- Pleiospilos compactus subs. sororius (N.E.Br.) H.E.K.Hartmann & Liede
- Pleiospilos dimidiatus L. Bolus
ENGLISH: Mimicry plant, Split rock, Stone plant
AFRIKAANS (Afrikaans): Lewervygie, Lewerplant, Kwaggavy, Klein lewerplant, Klipplant
GERMAN (Deutsch): Lebender Granit Stein, Lebender Granit
Description: Pleiospilos compactus subs. canus is a mesemb that forms rounded clusters of branches, each branch having 1-3 pairs of pale green speckled leaves looking like split rocks. It is a free-flowering species with showy daisy-like flowers that appear between the paired leaves in summer-autumn. It distinguishes from the standard species for having 12 ovary-cells in most flowers and capsule shortly stalked. It is a very variable rock “mimic”species, that takes in a large synonomy of about 20 names.
Habit: Growths with 1-3 leaf-pairs, it it may form small mats.
Leaves: Swollen very variable in shape, half-spherical to long, narrow and speckled (20-)50-60(-80) cm long 5-30 mm wide, the lower surface keeled towards the trigonous tip, usually pale green or greyish green often flushed with pink, but covered with dark green dots.
Flowers: Mostly solitary, usually stalk-less though sometimes stalks to 8 mm. The typical subspecies has 10 ovary-cells in most flowers. Dark green, ring-shaped nectar glands surround the 9-15 thread-like stigmas.
Flowers: Petals more than 80, yellow or pale yellow with age petals wither and turn orange-pink in colour, remaining attached to the developing fruit. Stamens not papillose below.
Fruits (Capsules): Capsules with large tubercles. South Africa (Cape Province). The typical subspecies has shortly stalked capsules.
Blooming season: The large yellow flowers open in the afternoon in late summer-autumn.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Pleiospilos compactus group
- Pleiospilos compactus (Aiton) Schwantes: (subsp. compactus) has 10 ovary-cells in most flowers and shortly stalked capsule . The typical subspecies occurs in the Little Karoo.
- Pleiospilos compactus subs. canus (Haw.) H.E.K.Hartmann & Liede: has 12 ovary-cells in most flowers and capsule shortly stalked. Distribution: Bloemfontein in the Orange Free State.
- Pleiospilos compactus subs. fergusoniae (L. Bolus) H.E.K.Hartmann & Liede: has leaves long-keeled, distinctly humped, flowers with pedicels 10 mm long, capsules mostly 10-locular. Distribution: Robertson Karoo.
- Pleiospilos compactus subs. minor (L. Bolus) H.E.K.Hartmann & Liede: is a very small form. Distribution: Steytlerville Karoo.
- Pleiospilos compactus subs. sororius (N.E.Br.) H.E.K.Hartmann & Liede: is a tufted plant with stalk of capsule 1-2 cm long. Distributiom: Ceres Karoo.
- Pleiospilos magnipunctatus (Haw.) Schwantes: (subs. canus) has narrower, somewhat thinner leaves. Distribution: Pienaar's Poort and near Coega.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Heidrun E. K. Hartmann “Aizoaceae F – Z” Springer, 2002
2) 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 - Casuarinaceae to Aristolochiaceae” Cambridge University Press, 11/Aug/2011
3) Hermann Jacobsen, Vera Higgins “Succulent Plants:Description, Cultivation and Uses of Succulent Plants, Other Than Cacti” Williams and Norgate, Limited, 1935
4) Jacobsen. “Handbook of succulent plants” 1328 (1960)
5) Doreen Court “Succulent Flora of Southern Africa” CRC Press, 01/Jun/2000
Cultivation and Propagation: It is a very adaptable plant, it will grow whenever it has water and good sunlight, but it will become dormant in very hot weather to conserve water. It need full sun to light shade with a very open compost that drains quickly. The container should be at least 10 cm deep to accommodate the long tap root. Very little water is needed during the growing season, and we do not fertilize the plants. In late summer to early fall before nighttime temperatures fall, watering of the plants is stepped up to once a week. When the nighttime temperatures drop to 9°C, watering is restricted throughout the winter months. In the winter, it grows new leaves from the centre of the split, and the new leaves then consume the old leaves. If the plant is over watered, the old leaves remain and the plant usually rots and dies. Not to water it when it is splitting, just leave it alone. Even with no watering the leaves don't shrink and prune up like some succulents do when they are not watered they stays plump even after several months with no water. For an idea of how succulent these plants are, a mature specimen can easily go a whole year without any water in a typical European or North American climate. If the plants are grown correctly, ideally there should only ever be 2 pairs of leaves. The lower ones are the previous years, and the top ones, the current years. One sign of good care is a firm, round, symmetrical plant with no old leaves still attached at the end of summer. The plants are hardy down to -5°C.
Propagation: Seeds or by division in early spring before new growth starts. One should not divide clumps too often because they bloom best when crowded.
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