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Origin and Habitat: East London (Chalumna River course area), Transkei, south-central part of the Eastern Cape, S Africa.
Altitude range: 340-580 metres above sea level.
Habitat and ecology: Faucaria subintegra grows in shallow pockets on flat sandstone rocks in subtropical coast, in open patches in otherwise dense, high Bushveld with grassveld in between, in full sun on top of north-facing river hank under very dry circumstances. Precipitation 500-900 mm per annum. Four known locations are potentially threatened by overgrazing and collecting for the specialist succulent horticultural trade. Intermediate plants have been found between Faucaria britteniae and F. subintegra. It is unknown if these intermediate populations are the result of natural hybridisation.
- Faucaria subintegra L. Bolus
Faucaria subintegra L. Bolus
Notes Mesembryanthemum [H.M.L. Bolus] 2: 449 1934.
ENGLISH: Chalumna tiger jaw
AFRIKAANS (Afrikaans): tierbekvygies
Description: The chalumna tiger jaw Faucaria subintegra is a compact to caespitose succulent plant that, on the contrary to the more toothy Faucaria tigrina, has nearly toothless leaves, the surface minutely dotted. The leaves are almost knobby in appearance smaller and less triangular than those of most other species with no teeth or a few small, conical teeth, making it a wonderful and unusual addition to any collection.
Derivation of specific name: The Latin epithet “subintegra” (almost-entire) was chosen because it describes the leaf margins that in older leaves is not noticeably divided in teeth and nearly entire.
Stem: In older stages this species always shows some stem 4-7 mm in diameter.
Leaves: Clusters usually have up to five paired leaves and not just three which is the most common number. Leaves are usually smaller and less triangular, crowded, swollen, spreading, 20-35 mm long, 10-15 mm broad and 10 mm thick, upper side in the upper part ovate, rounded, rarely slightly pointed, above blunt, almost square in section towards the bases, the lower surface with a plump and rounded keel at top. Epidermis hard, smooth, glossy-green to yellowish, glaucous, sometimes with a violet lustre, margins mostly with 1-3(-8) very short conical teeth or protrusions on each side, teeth 1-2 mm long, very rarely tipped with bristles that disappear in older leaves, white dots minute, hardly visible. Margins and keels indistinctly whitish.
Flowers: Up to 4.5 cm in diameter. Sepals larger than wide. Petals 70-92, linear, golden yellow. Stamens 150-250. Nectary glands dark yellowish-green to brown.
Fruit: Tightly attached on plant, 7-10 mm long, 6-12 mm in diameter, 6-9 mm thick, top flat, or broadly conical, the highest point in the centre. Peduncle (fruit stalk) absent or 2-4 x 2-4 mm, 1.0-1.4 mm thick.
Seeds: 1.1-1.4 mm long, 1-1.1 mm wide, dark brown.
Phenology: Flowering period: March—May.
Note: The names Faucaria subintegra and Faucaria subindurata were published by Harriet Margaret Louisa Bolus in 1934 from the same area in the same publication, and is very clearly conspecific, F. subintegra is considered more apt for the plants in question. The name is considered as validly published.
Similar species: Another nearly toothless species is Faucaria bosscheana, also with few or no teeth, but with hard white keel and margins. The leaves of Faucaria subintegra are also similar to those of Faucaria nemorosa and Orthopterum coeganum.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Doreen Court “Succulent Flora of Southern Africa” CRC Press, 01 June 2000
2) Heidrun E.K. Hartmann “Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Aizoaceae F-Z” Springer Science & Business Media, 2002
3) Ernst Van Jaarsveld, Ben-Erik Van Wyk, Gideon Smith “Succulents of South Africa: A Guide to the Regional Diversity” Tafelberg, 2000
4) Hermann Jacobsen “Handbuch der sukkulenten Pflanzen: Mesembryanthemaceae” G. Fischer, 1955
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 August 2011
6) N. L. Meyer “Plants of Southern Africa: An Annotated Checklist” National Botanical Institute, 01 January 2003
7) L. E. Groen, L. J. G. van der Maesen “Revision of the genus Faucaria (Ruschioideae: Aizoaceae) in South Africa” Bothalia 29: 44-45, 1999.
8) G. GERMISHUIZEN & N.L. MEYER, eds, “Plants of Southern Africa: an annotated checklist Pretoria.” 2003.
9) African Plants Database (version 3.4.0). Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la Ville de Genève and South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, "Retrieved [8 November 2015]", from <http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/>.
10) Victor, J.E. & Dold, A.P. 2007. Faucaria subintegra L.Bolus. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2015.1. Accessed on 2015/11/08
Faucaria subintegra Photo by: Valentino Vallicelli
The gallery now contains thousands of pictures, however it is possible to do even more. We are, of course, seeking photos of species not yet shown in the gallery but not only that, we are also looking for better pictures than those already present. Read More...
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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