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Accepted Scientific Name: Conophytum obcordellum (Haw.) N.E.Br.
Gard. Chron. 1922, Ser. III. lxxi. 307.
Origin and Habitat: Vredendal, West Cape Province, South Africa
Habitat: It grows on Table Mountain Sandstone in crevices or in lichens and moss carpets.
- Conophytum giftbergense Tischer
Conophytum obcordellum (Haw.) N.E.Br.
Gard. Chron. 1922, Ser. III. lxxi. 307.
- Conophytum obcordellum (Haw.) N.E.Br.
- Conophytum creperum N.E.Br.
- Conophytum giftbergense Tischer
- Conophytum klaverense N.E.Br.
- Conophytum lambertense Schick & Tischer
- Conophytum lambertense var. conspicuum Rawé
- Conophytum longifissum Tischer
- Conophytum nevillei (N.E.Br.) N.E.Br.
- Mesembryanthemum nevillei N.E.Br.
- Conophytum obconellum (Haw.) Schwantes
- Conophytum obcordellum f. declinatum (Haw.) N.E.Br.
- Conophytum declinatum L. Bolus
- Conophytum obcordellum var. germanum (N.E.Br.) Rawé
- Conophytum germanum N.E.Br.
- Conophytum obcordellum f. multicolor (Tischer) Tischer
- Conophytum multicolor Tischer
- Conophytum obcordellum var. mundum (N.E.Br.) Rawé
- Conophytum mundum N.E.Br.
- Conophytum obcordellum var. parvipetalum (N.E.Br.) Tischer
- Conophytum obcordellum f. picturatum (N.E.Br.) Tischer
- Conophytum obcordellum f. stayneri (L. Bolus) Rawé
- Conophytum obcordellum var. mundum f. stayneri (N.E.Br.) Rawé
- Conophytum ursprungianum var. stayneri L. Bolus
- Conophytum parviflorum N.E.Br.
- Conophytum parviflorum var. impressum (Tischer) Tischer
- Conophytum impressum Tischer
- Conophytum spectabile Lavis
- Conophytum ursprungianum Tischer
Conophytum obcordellum var. ceresianum (L. Bolus) S.A.Hammer
Gen. Conophytum 235. 1993
- Conophytum obcordellum var. ceresianum (L. Bolus) S.A.Hammer
- Conophytum ceresianum L. Bolus
- Conophytum ceresianum var. divergens (L. Bolus) Rawé
- Conophytum divergens L. Bolus
Conophytum obcordellum subs. rolfii (de Boer) S.A.Hammer
Gen. Conophytum 260. 1993
- Conophytum obcordellum subs. rolfii (de Boer) S.A.Hammer
Conophytum obcordellum subs. stenandrum (L. Bolus) S.A.Hammer
Gen. Conophytum 263. 1993
RUSSIAN (Русский): Конофитум гифтбергенский
Description: Conophytum giftbergense is a dwarf leaf-succulent with broad and flat-topped bodies decorated with exquisite markings. It branches to form loose cushions up to 45 mm tall, up to 60 mm in diameter. Conophytum giftbergense distinguish from Conophytum obcordellum by the usually larger pancake-shaped bodies, with more curved upper surface, smaller, not merging dots and less lively colouring.
Stem: It is almost stemless (branches very short subterranean). Internodes up to 1,5 mm.
Bodies (paired leaves): Small, obconical, pancake-shaped or somewhat heart-shaped, convex or somewhat depressed at the apex, up to 18 mm tall, 16 mm in diameter and 13 mm thick with a small growing cleft up to 5 mm. long, slightly depressed that doesn't reach right across the body. Faces broad elliptical in contour, glabrous, transition to the sides fairly rounded, somewhat unequal in size; upper surface smooth, bare, basic colour light grey green, marked on the upper side with irregularly distributed raised, , not merging, dark green to carmine coloured dots, often forming short rows that turn a beautiful bright red during the resting period. Dots on the centre of the leaf larger than towards the edge, fissure surrounded by dark row of dots, sides tinted slightly purple. The unspotted sides are pink to a deep dark red. Sheaths light brownish, dotted dark brown above, strong paper-like.
Flowers: Large straw coloured. The thin petals 35-40 crown segments, in 2-3 rows form an almost star-like, spidery structure, they are aromatic and very showy. Ovary enclosed or barely visible in the fissure, calyx tube up to 3,5 mm long light green or brownish, with stamens few united at the centre with the coronary tube as from the middle, filaments white, anthers projecting, style up to 2 mm long with 4-5 stigmas.
Blooming season: Blooms mostly Aug-Nov. The flowers are numerous and open at night.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Conophytum obcordellum group
- Conophytum giftbergense Tischer: has larger bodies with smaller, not merging less lively coloured dots.
- Conophytum lambertense Schick & Tischer: is a small coastal form. Distribution: Lambert Bay, Western Cape province of South Africa.
- Conophytum obcordellum (Haw.) N.E.Br.: (subsp. obcordellum) it is very variable with markings or raised spots; Flowers nocturnal strongly scented. Distribution: Northern Cap and Western Cape
- Conophytum obcordellum var. ceresianum (L. Bolus) S.A.Hammer: has very finely splattered markings and forms a dense mat. Flowers cream colored often with pink staminodes.
- Conophytum obcordellum f. multicolor (Tischer) Tischer: has grey-green almost metallic colouring, and the sides and the markings on the top of the body are dark purple: Distribution: Van Rhynsdorp district, Cape Province, South Africa.
- Conophytum obcordellum subs. rolfii (de Boer) S.A.Hammer: Leaves very small greysh-green to reddish with coarse fine lines and reddish papillae (The most heavily papillate member of the group) Distribution: Vredendal, Western Cape.
- Conophytum obcordellum subs. stenandrum (L. Bolus) S.A.Hammer: Few branched distinctively metallic greysh-green with fine lines and dots not extending down the sides. Distribution: Western Cape (Vanrhynsdorp) and Northern Cape (Namaqualand)
- Conophytum spectabile Lavis: has small bodies with exquisite markings.
Bibliography: Major refences and further lectures
1) A. Tischer “Conophytum giftbergense Tisch. spec. nov.” Cactus and Succulent J. of great Britain, Vol. 22. page 76 - Oct/1960
2) Heidrun E. K. Hartmann (2001) “Aizoaceae A – E” Springer
3) Hammer, S. 1993. “The Genus Conophytum - A Conograph.” Succulent Plant Publications, Pretoria.
4) Hammer, S. 2002. “Dumpling and His Wife: New Views of the Genus Conophytum.” East Anglia Engraving Creative Colour Ltd, Norwich, England.
5) Germishuizen, G. & N. L. Meyer, eds. 2003. "Plants of southern Africa: an annotated checklist." Strelitzia 14.
6) S. M Walters “The European Garden Flora Flowering Plants: Casuarinaceae to Aristolochiaceae” Cambridge University Press, 1989
Conophytum giftbergense Photo by: Valentino Vallicelli
The gallery now contains thousands of pictures, however it is possible to do even more. We are, of course, seeking photos of species not yet shown in the gallery but not only that, we are also looking for better pictures than those already present. Read More...
Cultivation and Propagation: The Conophytums belonging to the obcordellum group are some of the world's most fascinating plants and are sought by the collector of succulent plants. They grow on winter rain and heads for summer dormancy. If you provide them with the right conditions, they will reward you with their unique shape, size, colour and a proliferation of blooms in autumn. While Conphytum are picky about their care, if you are patient and remember the basics, your efforts will be rewarded. Being small plants, a representative collection can be grown on a patio table, a sunny windowsill or a shelf in the greenhouse. The growing season in northern hemisphere is from September to March.
Soil: Conophytum giftbergense grows best in sandy-gritty soil and requires good drainage as it it is prone to root rot. It can grows outdoor in sunny, dry, rock crevices (protection against winter wet is required) It can also be cultivated in alpine house, in poor, drained soil.
Repotting: Repotting every year is not recommended. They may stay in the same pot for many years. Plants grown in larger containers have frequently relatively poor flowers. They might improve when the plants are given their own, small individual pots.
Fertilization: Feed it once during the growing season with a fertilizer specifically formulated for cactus and succulents (poor in nitrogen), including all micro nutrients and trace elements diluted to ½ the strength recommended on the label. It thrives in poor soils and need a limited supplies of fertilizer to avoid the plants developing excess vegetation, which is easily attacked by fungal diseases.
Watering: The Conophytums thrive in dry and desert regions and are able to stand extended periods of drought and require careful watering. Water minimally in summer, (only occasional misting), water more abundantly after the previous year's leaves have dried up when they are growing in the autumn and spring, but let the soil dry between soaking. Requires little water otherwise its epidermis breaks (resulting in unsightly scars). If grown in a container, bottom watering by immersing the container is recommended. Ensure a very good ventilation. .
Light: It enjoy some shade (avoid direct sun as it grows wild among rocks and under the shade of other plants) and in summer it need to be kept in a cool area.
Hardiness: It prefer a very bright situation and require a minimum temperature 5°C (But will take a light frost and is hardy down to -7° C for short periods if it is in dry soil). USDA zones 9A – 11.
Uses: Container, rock garden.
Pests and diseases: It is vulnerable to mealybugs and rarely scale.
Propagation: It can be reproduced both by seed in autumn or (or rarely) cuttings. Take the cutting from a grown-up mother plant. Each cutting must contain one or more heads along with a fraction of root and permit to dry out a couple of days, lay it on the soil and insert the stem end partially into the soil. Try to keep the cutting somewhat upright so that the roots are able to grow downward. It is relatively difficult to root Conophytums from cuttings and generally pointless as well, so quick are they from seed.
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