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Accepted Scientific Name: Pleiospilos compactus subs. canus (Haw.) H.E.K.Hartmann & Liede
Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 106(4): 476. 1986 [28 Aug 1986]
Origin and Habitat: Orange Free State. South Africa.
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. 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 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): Klipplant, Kwaggavy, Lewerplant, Lewervygie, Klein lewerplant
GERMAN (Deutsch): Klein lewerplant, Kwaggavy, Lewerplant, Lewervygie, Klipplant
Description: Pleiospilos nobilis is a local or morphological form of the very variable Pleiospilos compactus subs. canus that forms short woody stem which branches so that clumps up to 30 cm diameter are formed; each branch bears 2 to 3 pairs of leaves which are long, narrow and very thick; the colour is greyish-green, often reddened in the sun, and with raised dots. It is a free-flowering species with showy yellow daisy-like flowers that appear between the paired leaves in summer-autumn. It distinguishes from the standard species for having (11-)12 ovary-cells in most flowers and capsule shortly stalked.
Habit: Growths with 1-3 leaf-pairs, it it may form small mats.
Leaves: Swollen, long, narrow and very thick, speckled (20-)50-60(-80) cm long 5-30 mm wide, variable in shape, 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.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Vera Higgins “Succulents in Cultivation (Cacti Included)” St. Martin's Press, 1960
2) Victor, J.E. 2004. "Pleiospilos compactus (Aiton) Schwantes subsp. canus (Haw.) H.E.K.Hartmann & Liede." National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2014.1. Accessed on 2014/12/07
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
6) Heidrun E. K. Hartmann “Aizoaceae F – Z” Springer, 2002
7) 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
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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