Your support is critical to our success.
Origin and Habitat: Graptopetalum paraguayense ssp. bernalense is known from the type locality an isolated volcanic plug ( Cerro del Bernal or Cerro Bernal de Horcasitas) located in the González Municipality, in southem Tamaulipas, where it oceurs near the summit. A second population is known on the the Sierra de Tamaulipas, an igneous and limestone massif located some 50 km to the Northeast of the Cerro del Bernal. With the discovery of this second population this species should have a scattered distribution in the Sierra de Tamaulipas in similar conditions.
Altitude range: (500-)700-800 metres above sea level.
Habitat and ecology: At the type locality this species dwells in the crevices of near vertical north exposed porphyric rocks, along scarce remaining of a tropical forest. The second location, in the Sierra de Tamaulipas, consists also of crevices in big igneous rocks, with the exception that in this place the plant grows among oaks, pines and ferns at about 1000 m altitude. This species propagates from fallen leaves or stem sections and is a localised adventive at the given locality. It grows together with Mammillaria anniana.
- Graptopetalum paraguayense subs. bernalense Kimnach & R.Moran
Graptopetalum paraguayense subs. bernalense Kimnach & R.Moran
Cact. Succ. J. (Los Angeles) 58(2): 54. 1986
- Graptopetalum paraguayense subs. bernalense Kimnach & R.Moran
Graptopetalum paraguayense (N.E.Br.) E.Walther
Cact. Succ. J. (Los Angeles) 9: 108 1938
- Graptopetalum paraguayense (N.E.Br.) E.Walther
- Cotyledon paraguayensis N.E.Br.
- Echeveria paraguayensis (N.E.Br.) hort. ex Poelln.
- Sedum paraguayense (N.E.Br.) Bullock
- Graptopetalum weinbergii (T.B.Sheph.) E.Walther
ENGLISH: Ghost Plant
Description: Graptopetalum paraguayense ssp. bernalense differs from ssp. paraguayense by being smaller in all it parts and for its yellowish leaves not more than 4 cm long. It is a very interesting clumping species with relatively small rosettes, about 10-20 cm high and 5-7 cm diameter each plant. The flowers are whitish, weakly spotted or plain.
Stems: 5-6 mm in diameter.
Rosetees: 2.5-6 cm across.
Leaves: Triangular in shape, (2-)2.5–3.5(-4) cm long, 1-1.6 cm wide, yellowish or greenish-cream or (under stress) pinkish coloured.
Flowers. Corolla 11-15 mm in diameter. Petals 5, 2.5-3 mm broad, tube 2.5-3 mm broad, lobes pure white or upper face with 1-2 red-magenta blotches near the margins. The stamens become recurved during anthesis.
Chromosome number: n = 68.
Note: A related but much smaller and more offsetting species from North Veracruz was recently described as Graptopetalum mendozae.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Graptopetalum paraguayense group
- Graptopetalum paraguayense (N.E.Br.) E.Walther: has rosettes 9-15 cm across. Leaves 15-25 leave,s 2-8 cm long, grey-blue-green to light purple. Flowers c. 2 cm in diameter with white petals, dotted with red. Distribution: Mexico (Tamaulipas).
- Graptopetalum paraguayense subs. bernalense Kimnach & R.Moran: has yellowish leaves not more than 4 cm long. Distribution: Tamaulipas, North-East Mexico.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Urs Eggli “Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Crassulaceae: Crassulaceae” Springer Science & Business Media, 2003
2) Jorge Meyrán García, Lilián López Chávez “Las Crasuláceas de México” Sociedad Mexicana de Cactología, 2003
3) Graptopetalum paraguayense ssp. bernalense in: Austrobaileya, Volume 5, Queensland Herbarium, Department of Primary Industries., 1997
4) Graptopetalum paraguayense ssp. bernalense in: Cactaceas y suculentas mexicanas, Sociedad Mexicana de Cactología., 1997
5) Graptopetalum paraguayense subsp. bernalense <http://bios.conabio.gob.mx/especies/6064077.pdf>
6) Leccinum “Lex” Garcia, “The Echeverioideae (Crassulaceae) of Tamaulipas, Mexico” Xerophilia – Anul II, nr. 1 (4) – martie 2013
Cultivation and Propagation: Culture of Graptopetalum paraguayense ssp. bernalense is fairly easy, it can tolerate full sun (where it stay compact) but a much better exposure is light shade. It is always a favorite carefree windowsill citizen, an excellent addition to any garden. This plant reproduces by making "babies" that appear around the edges of each leaf, which can be gently pulled off and rooted. The plant's origin will make its rosettes tolerate heat and drought. They are true survivors.
Exposition: Likes light shade to part sun (it will take a few hours of sun without a problem), but adapts very well to full sun and shade too. It can overwinters well also under grow lights in a cool room of the house. Graptopetalums are chameleons. Those grown in partial shade tend to be blue-grey, in full, hot sun, grey-pink; in full sun, pinkish grey to yellow.
Soil: Although it needs a soil that is gritty and porous with good drainage, the soil must be able to hold the moisture that the plant requires. The ideal soil should contain equal parts of loam with small gravel added (e.g. pumice or lava grit). Good drainage is essential.
Watering: During the summer growing period the plant appears to need much more water than the average succulent. Water when plant is dry and do not water again until the soil is completely dry again. Dislikes over-watering. Pay particular attention to make sure that they do not rot at the root from soggy soil. During October to March, water very sparingly, using only enough water to keep the foliage from shriveling. In a very humid situation in winter, it can rot even if totally dry. It likes dry air as much as dry soil.
Fertilization: Fertilizer should be applied only once in early spring , diluted to ¼ the recommended rate on the label.
Hardiness: It is usually recommended to avoid freezing temperatures, but it is a very hardy succulent and can rebound from being frozen and is useful in areas that drop below 7° C. It requires low temperature for flower formation and it will not flower unless it is overwintered for at least a month at 15° C or less.
Pests and diseases: The tightly-packed rosettes are attractive to mealy bugs.
Uses: A great plant for use as a groundcover, in gravel gardens, paved areas, rockeries, in hanging baskets or pots, or for spilling over walls. It is a bit brittle so avoid handling when possible and not for planting in areas with much traffic. Because the stems are so fragile, it is best to pick the best location for ghost plant and then don’t move it. Try mixing with other succulents and alpines.
Propagation: It is is propagated by the division of offshoots or by individual leaves, rooted in sand or in dry vermiculite. Any rosette that breaks off has the potential to root and start a new plant. Even a leaf that drops off will root below the parent plant and produce a new rosette quickly. Because leaves and cuttings root effortlessly, graptopetalums are among the easiest succulents to propagate.
|Back to Graptopetalum index|
|Back to Crassulaceae index|
|Back to Succulents Encyclopedia index|