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Accepted Scientific Name: Conophytum wettsteinii (A.Berger) N.E.Br.
Gard. Chron. III, 71: 231 1922
Origin and Habitat: South Africa (Northern Cape Province, Namaqualand)
Habitat: Grows almost hidden in the soil on quartzite ridges in cracks, often mixed with Crassula elegans.
Conophytum wettsteinii (A.Berger) N.E.Br.
Gard. Chron. III, 71: 231 1922
- Conophytum wettsteinii (A.Berger) N.E.Br.
- Mesembryanthemum wettsteinii A.Berger
- Conophytum brevipes L. Bolus
- Conophytum circumpunctatum Schick & Tischer
Description: Dwarf groundcover species. Freely dividing and variably caespitose, with single or double bodies, or forming dense mats or cushions
Stems: Appear stemless when young but they may be stemmed with age.
Bodies (paired leaves): Attractive with disc-shaped truncate, concave or convex apices up to 2,5 cm in diameter. The leaf pairs are completely fused obconical/triangular in shape. The epidermis is not bullate, roughened or pustulate, rarely papillate, usually lacking lines. Epidermis usually dull, glaucous to pale-green or brownish green in colour. The fissure is faintly papillate. The sheaths are papery and firm, sometimes friable, sheaths may be spotted or unspotted.
Flowers: Daisy-like, scentless, early diurnal with a long tube. Exhibit varying colours of orchid fuchsia on long lacy lazy petals, they are very showy: The style is usually long while the stigmas are short.
Blooming season: August- October, flowers are long lasting.
Fruits: The capsules are small, flat and slightly aromatic.
Remarks: The cotyledons are obconical and truncate, this species has a short juvenile phase.
Mesembryanthemum wettsteinii (Conophytum wettsteinii) Photo by: Cactus Art
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Cultivation and Propagation: It is easy to grow. These plants grow on winter rain and head for summer dormancy. More or less dormant in summer. The plant requires little water; otherwise its epidermis breaks (resulting in unsightly scars). Water throughout the year although minimally in summer, (only when the plant starts shrivelling), but it will generally grow even in summer if given water. Water regularly in winter after the previous year's leaves have dried up. Requires good drainage. Keep cool and shaded from hot sun in mid-summer; it needs full sun or light shade in the other seasons. Hardy to -2°C. Ensure a very good ventilation. Avoid to repot frequently. This plant may stay in the same pot for many years. Plants grown in larger containers have frequently relatively poor flowers. It might improve when the plants are given their own, small individual pots.
Propagation: It can be reproduced both by cuttings and seeds. Take the cutting from a grown-up mother plant. Each cutting must contain one or more heads, along with a fraction of root.
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