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Accepted Scientific Name: Nananthus vittatus
Gartenflora 1928, lxxvii. 68.
Nananthus vittatus (N.E.Br.) Schwantes
Gartenflora 1928, lxxvii. 68.
- Nananthus vittatus (N.E.Br.) Schwantes
- Mesembryanthemum albipunctum var. major Haw.
- Mesembryanthemum vittatum N.E.Br.
- Rabiea albipuncta (Haw.) L. Bolus
- Nananthus aff. broomii
- Nananthus aloides var. striatus (L. Bolus) L. Bolus
- Aloinopsis aloides var. striatus L. Bolus
- Nananthus broomii (L. Bolus) L. Bolus
- Aloinopsis broomii L. Bolus
- Nananthus cibdelus (N.E.Br.) Schwantes
- Aloinopsis cibdela (N.E.Br.) Schwantes
- Mesembryanthemum cibdelum N.E.Br.
- Rabiea cibdela (N.E.Br.) N.E.Br.
- Nananthus transvaalensis (Rolfe) L. Bolus
- Nananthus tranvaalensis var. griquensis L. Bolus
- Nananthus tranvaalensis var. latus L. Bolus
Description: Nananthus aff. broomii (MG 1781.45) is a tiny form with smaller leaves and stout turnip-roots. It is a local or morphological form of Nananthus vittatus and not easily separable by any important character from the other vittatus. It is very cold hardy.
Habit: It is a low, multi-branching, wrinkled, plant forming a mat with succulent leaves arranged in low rosettes and carrot like roots, will eventually form large caudex in time.It grows in a tuft like a little aloe, eventually closing in to form a mat covered with small daisy-like yellow flowers.
Roots: Tuberous, gorgeous and fleshy. The tuberous roots (often improperly considered a caudex) are very decorative and in many plants in cultivation are often raised above the soil. In seed raised plants, the “caudex” tend to be much larger and solitary (or few branched) while in plants which have been raised from cuttings, the tuberose roots tend to be thinner, and are more branched, eventually producing tangled masses of many fat roots.
Leaves: In 6-8 pairs, less than 3 cm long, 0,6 cm wide, 3-4 mm thick. They are opposite but of different lengths, spreading diagonally at most (Often erected under dry conditions) generally dark-green or dark olive-green, soft, ovate, lanceolate, sharpened on the top, keeled, the upper surface is slightly convex especially near the points, The adaxial and abaxial surfaces are rough and textured with fine warts (idioblasts) prominent in the upper leafs surface, sometime with a central channel.
Flowers: 2-2,5 cm in diameter, daisy-like flowers, silver or gold flowers with a red stripe down each petal.
Blooming season: Winter.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Nananthus vittatus group
- Nananthus aff. broomii: is a tiny form with smaller leaves and stout turnip-roots.
- Nananthus vittatus (N.E.Br.) Schwantes: is a multi-branching, wrinkled, plant forming a mat with succulent leaves arranged in low rosettes and carrot like roots. It is quite variable. Distribution: Northern-cape and North-western South Africa.
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/ago/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” 1960
5) H. Herre “The genera of the Mesembryanthemaceae” Tafelberg-Uitgewers Beperk, 1971
Cultivation and Propagation: Nananthus are easy and rewarding plants. They grow on winter rain areas and were heading for summer dormancy. Suggestions have been made to keep them cool, shaded and dry in summer. This species usually "wakes up" in mid-Fall. Water minimally in summer, only when the plant starts shrivelling. (but it is indeed a very adaptable species that can grow opportunistically in summer too if the water availability and growing condition are favourable). They need full sun or light shade on the other seasons.
Soil: Because of the tap root they need a highly gritty compost with much drainage.
Frost Tolerance: Nananthus will take a small amount of frost for a short time (it is reported to be hardy to at least -12° C). Keep cool in summer.
Comment: It has a gorgeous, thick root system and when it is potted up, the plant can be progressively raised over the ground so that some of the roots can be seen and is especially cultivated for their looks. Architecturally it is a real stunner. When the "caudex" shape of the raised roots is adequately in evidence this plant is incomparable. They also tend to grow more "heads" when they are raised.
Propagation: Cuttings or (rarely) seeds
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