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Origin and Habitat: South Africa. (Western districtsof Eastern Cape-Province to Eastern districts of Western Cape-Province)
Habitat: It grows mostly in ﬁne grained soils in grassy or shrubby vegetation types, rain fall about 200-700 mm per annum mainly in March and November. This habitat is shared with succulent plants such as Haworthia cooperi, Haworthia gracilis, Euphorbia meloformis and Euphorbia gorgonis. It is not threatened.
- Faucaria felina Schwantes
Faucaria felina Schwantes
Z. Sukkulentenk. ii. 177 (1926)
- Faucaria felina Schwantes
- Faucaria acutipetala L. Bolus
- Faucaria candida L. Bolus
- Faucaria cradockensis L. Bolus
- Faucaria crassisepala L. Bolus
- Faucaria duncanii L. Bolus
- Faucaria felina var. jamesii L. Bolus
- Faucaria jamesii L. Bolus ex Tischer
- Faucaria felina f. splendens H.Jacobsen & G.D.Rowley
- Faucaria kingiae L. Bolus
- Faucaria latipetala L. Bolus
- Faucaria laxipetala L. Bolus
- Faucaria longidens L. Bolus
- Faucaria longifolia L. Bolus
- Faucaria lupina (Haw.) Schwantes
- Mesembryanthemum lupinum Haw. in Till.
- Faucaria militaris Tischer
- Faucaria montana L. Bolus
- Faucaria multidens L. Bolus
- Faucaria multidens var. paardeportensis L. Bolus
- Faucaria plana L. Bolus
- Faucaria ryneveldiae L. Bolus
- Faucaria uniondalensis L. Bolus
Faucaria felina subs. britteniae (L. Bolus) L.E.Groen
Bothalia 29(1): 41 (1999)
- Faucaria felina subs. britteniae (L. Bolus) L.E.Groen
- Faucaria britteniae L. Bolus
- Faucaria coronata L. Bolus
- Faucaria grandis L. Bolus
- Faucaria smithii L. Bolus
- Faucaria speciosa L. Bolus
Faucaria felina subs. tuberculosa (Rolfe) L.E.Groen
Bothalia 29(1): 42 (1999)
- Faucaria felina subs. tuberculosa (Rolfe) L.E.Groen
- Faucaria felina subs. tuberculosa cv. Super Warty
ENGLISH: Cat Chap, Tiger Jaws, Cat Jaws, Wolf-mouth Mesemb
AFRIKAANS (Afrikaans): Tierbekvygie
Description: Faucaria felina is a compact leaf succulent forming unusual clumps of fleshy, boat-shaped, toothed leaves most similar to Faucaria britteniae, which grows further east. Although the variation in F. felina is great, as is reﬂected by the numerous synonyms, the species can be identified by the slender, spreading leaves with an oblique tip of the leaf. The lower number of teeth (which are shorter and not bristly) and the less conspicuous spotting separates the species from Faucaria tigrina, which also has more erect leaves. Most plants sold as Faucaria sp.' are a form or another of F. felina. They all share a rough upper surface. The shape of the leaf varies from long to short triangular. The name felina refers to the likeness of the leaves to the claws of a cat. The recurved leaf tubercles have very broad bases and look like cat's nails rather than teeth!
Stem Very reduced, tufted and developing a very short branched rhizomatous trunk with age.
Leaves: Up to 70 mm long, 5-20 mm broad, slender, spreading, rhomboidal, somewhat elongated, tapering gradually, keeled. Margins with 3-5 teeth in the upper half (rarely more or less); teeth broad, fleshy, curved, white or pink ending in papillate awns of 0,5 to 3 mm length. Faces of leaves dark green to grey-green smooth or with indistinct whitish-grey dots, wax cover thin, crystals in the outer walls in certain areas resulting in white dots.
Flowers: Daisy-like up to 5 cm in diameter with 100-135 yellow to orange (or rarely white) petals, 210-320 stamens, glands green to brown; The flowers open only in full sunlight.
Blooming season: Late autumn to winter.
Fruit: Base broadly bell-shaped, top with the valves often raised in the centre, 10-16 mm long, 9-11 mm in diameter.
Seeds: 1,4-1,5 mm broad.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Faucaria felina group
- Faucaria candida L. Bolus: has large white flowers and leaves more or less uniform bright green without tubercles or pale speckling. Distribution: Cradock, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa.
- Faucaria cradockensis L. Bolus: ((syn: Faucaria felina subs. felina) has long unspotted leaves with white or pink teeth. Distribution: Hill above Cradock, Somerset East Dist., Eastern Cape.
- Faucaria felina Schwantes: has slender, spreading leaves with an oblique tip of the leaf. The lower number of teeth and the less spots separates it from Faucaria tigrina, which also has more erect leaves. Distribution: Eastern Cape-Province.
- Faucaria felina subs. britteniae (L. Bolus) L.E.Groen: has stouter whitish-grey green leaves, with darker-grey tiny dots, amd the keel meeting the upper leaf surface nearly at a right angle at the apex. Distribution: Albany, Grahamstown and Fort Beaufort, Eastern Cape.
- Faucaria felina subs. tuberculosa (Rolfe) L.E.Groen: Plant with large white tubercles or warts on upper leaf surface and soft white teeth along the edges. Cultivated plants shows a wide morphologic variability. Distribution: Bedford, Cape Province.
- Faucaria felina subs. tuberculosa cv. Super Warty: has large bumped and tangled tubercles or warts on upper leaf surface and soft white teeth along the edges. Origin: supposed from Japan.
- Faucaria longifolia L. Bolus: has long slender, more green leaves, keeled towards apex and with more numerous teeth. Distribution: Cape province.
- Faucaria lupina (Haw.) Schwantes: has silvery green, long, triangular leaves, with fierce-looking teeth along the upper margin. Distribution: Uitenhage, Eastern Cape Province.
- Faucaria speciosa L. Bolus: (syn: Faucaria felina subs. britteniae) has a more glaucous colour, and a rough leaf-surface. Distribution: Albany, Eastern Cape Province.
Bibliography: Major references and futher lectures
1) Heidrun E. K. Hartmann "Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Aizoaceae F-Z" Springer, 2002
2) Ernst Van Jaarsveld, Ben-Erik Van Wyk, Gideon Smith "Succulents of South Africa: A Guide to the Regional Diversity" Tafelberg Publishers, Limited, 01/lug/2000
3) Gordon D. Rowleyna anteriore "The illustrated encyclopedia of succulents" Crown Publishers, 01/ago/1978
4) Werner Rauh "The Wonderful World of Succulents: Cultivation and Description of Selected Succulent Plants Other Than Cacti" Smithsonian Institution Press, 1984
5) Clive Innes "Complete Handbook of Cacti and Succulents" Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 01/dic/1981
6) George Gilbert Green "Cacti and succulents" Pitman Pub. Corp., 1953
Faucaria felina Photo by: Valentino Vallicelli
Faucaria felina Photo by: Giuseppe Distefano
Faucaria felina Photo by: Valentino Vallicelli
Faucaria felina Uplands nw of Grahamstown, compac with reddish margins. Photo by: Valentino Vallicelli
Cultivation and Propagation: Faucarias are the good choice for anyone wanting to start growing succulents. They are quite hardy and can take a short period of light frost and in very dry warm regions these succulents make very impressive out door ground covers. As house plants they tend to grow in fair weather and rest when temperatures are too hot or too cool.
Exposition: They need full sun to light shade , it should be protected from too much exposure in Summer. They do not do well in full shade as they tend to etiolate, fall over and rot easily.
Soil: It likes a well-drained soil mix, but can tolerate a wide variety of soil types and growing locations as long as there is plenty of sun.
Fertilization: The plants are fertilized only once during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer diluted to ½ the recommended strength.
Watering: This species is native to a primarily summer rainfall area but in cultivation the plant can be watered year-round. The plants are well watered during the growing season and allowed to dry thoroughly before watering again and will tolerate some over watering, but the challenge is to help them keep their compact form and prevent elongation of the stem. During the winter months, the plants should be kept quite dry, only watering enough to keep the leaves from shrivelling.
Pest & diseases: Faucarias are sensitive to mealybugs.
Rot: Rot is only a minor problem with Faucaria if the plants are watered and “aired” correctly. If they are not, fungicides won't help all that much. Care must be given in watering, keeping them warm and wet while growing, and cooler and dry when dormant.
Hardiness: Although the plants will survive mild frost if kept dry (hardy as low as -5° C) they should be protected from frost to prevent scarring. USDA 9b-12
Propagation: Faucaria is very easy to start from seed. Seeds germinate in 7-14 days at 21°C. Although they will start from cuttings, it is quite difficult to get them to root. If they start to rot there is usually part of the plant that can be removed and possibly rooted.
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