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Flower full open in the night 11.37 pm.
Origin and Habitat: Kenhardt, Namaqualand, Northern Cape, South Africa.
Altitude range: 800-1000 metres above sea level.
Habitat ans ecology: Hereroa pallens grows in open flat areas covered by quartzitic gravel. Rainfall less than 100 mm per annum mainly in March.
- Hereroa pallens L. Bolus
Description: Hereroa pallens is a compact perennial-succulent forming pale green clumps or mats up to 30 (or more) cm wide and 10 cm tall. It branches from the base. It is moderately anisophyllous that is to say it has leaves slightly different in shapes or sizes.
Similar species: Hereroa pallens is easily bewildered with Hereroa puttkameriana, a species occurring further north in Namibia, and the two plants are not readily distinguishable, if not for the geographical provenance.
Roots: Has thick roots.
Leaves: In opposite pairs, all pairs growing at right angles to the next adjacent, arranged perpendicularly to one another, usually with 2 to 5 pairs to a branch, triangular in cross section, the keel thicker above the middle, erect to a little incurved, one leaf-pair straight, roundish, about 3o mm long, to 4 mm broad, the other pair with a subterminal thickening, to 4o mm long, to 50 mm broad. Epidermis grey, waxy, with many dark green pimples, smooth, rough only when dry.
Flowers: Generally solitary, to 2,5 cm in diameter, daisy-like, scented and pollinated by moths. Bracteoles in the lower half of the stalk or at the base, free parts spreading. Petals golden yellow, 8-11 mm long.
Blooming season: Summer, blooms opening at dusk.
Fruits: 5-chambered, robust, top with low rims, base forming a broad funnel, covering membranes incomplete, but persistent in position after the seeds are dispersed, closing body tiny, expanding keels just not touching each other at their bases, valve wings narrow, broadest at their base.
Seeds: Light brown, almost smooth, 0.8-0.9 mm long, ca. 0.6 mm broad.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Heidrun E.K. Hartmann “Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Aizoaceae F-Z” Springer Science & Business Media, 2002
2) Gideon Smith u.a. “Mesembs of the World: Illustrated Guide to a Remarkable Succulent Group.” Briza Publications, 1998
3) Gustav Schwantes “Zur Systematik der Mesembryanthemen.” In: Zeitschrift für Sukkulentenkunde. volume 2, 1926
4) Gustav Schwantes “Zur Systematik der Mesembryanthemen.” In: Zeitschrift für Sukkulentenkunde. Volume 3, 192Major references and further lectures
5) Hermann Jacobsen “A handbook of succulent plants: descriptions, synonyms, and cultural details for succulents other than Cactaceae, Volume 1” Blandford Press, 1960
6) Werner Rauh “The Wonderful World of Succulents:Cultivation and Description of Selected Succulent Plants Other Than Cacti” Smithsonian Institution Press, 1984
7) 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/ago/2011
Cultivation and Propagation: Hereroa is a genus that require little maintenance. In cultivation the Hereroa do very well with the spring summer growing period during which they will be watered frequently and heads for winter dormancy. If you provide the Hereroa with the right conditions, they will reward you with their unique shape, and a proliferation of blooms in spring and summer. Being small plants, a representative collection can be grown on a patio table or a shelf in the greenhouse. Inside they grow fine on windowsills, and will even bloom, if they get enough direct sunlight.
Growth Rate: Slow to Moderate.
Soil: It grows best in sandy-gritty soil and requires good drainage as 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: Make sure to repot during its more active period, starting in spring.
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.
Light: Keep cool and shaded in summer, need full sun or light shade in the other season. Outdoor they prefer full sun, with some shade in the hottest summer months. Plants in pots prefer light afternoon shade in hottest summer days.
Watering: They thrive in dry and desert regions and are able to stand extended periods of drought and require careful watering. Water minimally in summer, only when the plant starts shrivelling, water more abundantly when they are growing in the autumn and spring, but let the soil dry between soaking. If grown in a container, bottom watering by immersing the container is recommended. It must have very dry atmosphere.
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.
Plant Uses: Border, container, edging, ground cover, pot plant, rock garden. The plants also attracts bees, butterflies and other insects.
Propagation: Seed in spring or autumn or 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.
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