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Origin and Habitat: Kenhardt, Northern Cape (North-western Bushmanland), South Africa.
Habitat and ecology: Ihlenfeldtia vanzyilii grows on white quartzitic slopes. Rain about 125 mm p.a. mainly in winter.
Ihlenfeldtia vanzylii (L. Bolus) H.E.K.Hartmann
Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 114(1): 49 1992.
- Ihlenfeldtia vanzylii (L. Bolus) H.E.K.Hartmann
- Cheiridopsis vanzylii L. Bolus
- Cheiridopsis papillata L. Bolus
- Cheiridopsis richardiana L. Bolus
Description: Ihlenfeldtia vanzyilii is a compact, moderately branched, rarely sunken, succulent plant up to 10 cm in diameter with about 10 branches (occasionally more). It has strongly keeled, three-sided leaves, and showy flowers.
Leaves: Spreading, triangular in cross section, acutely keeled, papillate without a mucro or teeth, keel curving down, sides convex.
Flowers: Solitary, bracteolate, up to 7 cm in diameter, chrome yellow, often with a white base, petals reddening with age particularly on the outside, stamens forming an upright ring.
Blooming season: It blossoms in winter to early spring and the flowers open midday and close at dusk.
Fruits (Hygrochastic capsules): 10-15 locular, with a broadened base of spongy tissue, bracteoles reaching up to the base of the fruit itself, valve wings narrowing distally, endocarpal closing bodies tiny, with a translucent layer on top .
Seeds: Smooth, small, roundish, 0.6-0.65 mm long.
Chromosome number: 2n = 36.
Remarks: Ihlenfeldtia vanzyilii can be understood as a neotenic form of Ihlenfeldtia excavata (the juvenile shape has been retained while flowering was reached).
Notes: Ihlenfeldtia resemble Cheiridopsis species but the seed capsules resemble those of Titanopsis.
Bibliography: Major references and futher lectures
1) Klaus Kubitzki, Jens G. Rohwer, Volker Bittrich “Flowering Plants · Dicotyledons: Magnoliid, Hamamelid and Caryophyllid Families” Springer, 28/Jul/1993
2) Doreen Court "Succulent Flora of Southern Africa" CRC Press, 01/Jun/2000
3) Otto A. Leistner “Flora of southern Africa” 14: 194 1985
4) Jacobsen “Lexicon of succulent plants” Littlehampton Book Services Ltd. 1974
5) 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" Cambridge University Press, 11/Aug/2011
6) Dr J.P. Roux “Flora of South Africa” 2003
7) Heidrun E. K. Hartmann "Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Aizoaceae F-Z" Springer, 2002
8) Ernst Van Jaarsveld, Ben-Erik Van Wyk, Gideon Smith "Succulents of South Africa: A Guide to the Regional Diversity" Tafelberg Publishers, Limited, 01/Jul/2000
9) Gideon Smith u.a. “Mesembs of the World: Illustrated Guide to a Remarkable Succulent Group.” Briza Publications 1998
10) Botanische Jahrbücher für Systematik, Pflanzengeschichte und Pflanzengeographie. 114:1 47, Leipzig 1992
Ihlenfeldtia vanzylii Photo by: Giuseppe Distefano
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Cultivation and Propagation: The Ihlenfeldtia vanzylii is a "winter" grower which is most active from late winter until later spring and heading for summer dormancy, but in favourable growing conditions it keeps going over the summer too and doesn't need particular care. It is relatively easy to grow.
Soil: 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.
Fertilization: It thrives in poor soils and seems sensitive to an excess of potassium.
Watering: Water minimally in summer, only when the plant starts shrivelling, water more abundantly when they are growing in the autumn and spring. Requires little water otherwise its epidermis breaks (resulting in unsightly scars).
Light: It needs a bright sunny or light shade exposure in winter, but keep cool and shaded in summer.
Hardiness: It prefer a very bright situation and will take a light frost (Hardy to -5°C) if it is in dry soil. USDA zones 9A – 11.
Uses: Container, rock garden.
Propagation: Seed in spring or (or rarely) cuttings. It is easily propagated by seed.
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