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Accepted Scientific Name: Anacampseros filamentosa subs. tomentosa (A.Berger) Gerbaulet
Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 113: 540 1992
Origin and Habitat: Northern Namibia, along and north of the Orange River.
Habitat: Anacampseros filamentosa subs. tomentosa grows among quartz in rock-crevices in steep slopes, cliffs and bare rock faces and riverbeds where is a frequent associate of succulent mesembs. It is camouflaged down to minutest detail and at the first glance quite similar to the background and always difficult to find in habitat if not blooming.
Anacampseros filamentosa (Haw.) Sims
Bot. Mag. 33: t. 1367 1811
- Anacampseros filamentosa (Haw.) Sims
- Anacampseros lanigera Burch.
- Portulaca stipularis Dryand. ex DC.
Anacampseros filamentosa subs. namaquensis (H.Pearson & Stephens) G.D.Rowley
Bradleya 12: 110 1994
- Anacampseros filamentosa subs. namaquensis (H.Pearson & Stephens) G.D.Rowley
- Anacampseros namaquensis H.Pearson & Stephens
- Anacampseros alta Poelln.
- Anacampseros poellnitziana Dinter ex Poelln.
Anacampseros filamentosa subs. tomentosa (A.Berger) Gerbaulet
Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 113: 540 1992
- Anacampseros filamentosa subs. tomentosa (A.Berger) Gerbaulet
- Anacampseros tomentosa A.Berger
- Anacampseros densifolia Dinter ex Poelln.
- Anacampseros juttae Dinter ex Poelln.
- Anacampseros paradoxa Poelln.
- Anacampseros tomentosa var. crinita Dinter
- Anacampseros tomentosa var. margaretae (Dinter) Poelln.
- Anacampseros margaretae Dinter ex Poelln.
Description: The name Anacampseros filamentosa subs. tomentosa (Anacampseros tomentosa) applies to the Namibian plants. Apart from a difference in seed-type they are identical not readily distinguishable from Anacampseros filamentosa subs. filamentosa, if not for the geographical provenance.
Habit: It is a short columnar succulent to 5(-10) cm tall from a swollen root-stock. The few fleshy branches are covered in closely packed leaves with thin cobweb-like hairs. It is amongst the most interesting species, which is grown for the appearance of its fleshy leaves, rather rather than for its flowers.
Leaves: Imbricated, expanded, (4-)6-10(-12) mm long, to 8 mm broad and and 5 mm thick, ovate-globose with a more or less evident chin-like recurving hump on both sides, often with truncated tips, dark green, cobwebbed rather rugose above. Axillary threads (ramentaceous stipulas) longer than leaves, numerous, whitish.
Inflorescence: Up to 8 cm with 3-5 flowers.
Flowers: Red-violet 1.5-2 (rarely up to 3) cm in diameter. Petals oblong, lanceolate pink, 5 to 15 mm long and about 3.5 mm wide. Stamens 15 to 25.
Blooming season. Summer. (August and September in northern hemisphere)
Fruits (capsules): 7 to 12 mm long.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Anacampseros filamentosa group
- Anacampseros filamentosa (Haw.) Sims: (subsp. filamentosa) has the South African distribution is much-branched and densely-leaved, the small leaves ovate to round, often with truncated tips, and covered with white threads, bristles numerous.
- Anacampseros filamentosa subs. namaquensis (H.Pearson & Stephens) G.D.Rowley: has bristles shorter than the leaves, whereas in subsp. filamentosa they are longer than the leaves. Richtersveld southwards to the Tanqua Karoo.
- Anacampseros filamentosa subs. tomentosa (A.Berger) Gerbaulet: applies to the Namibian plants. Apart from a difference in seed-type they are identical and not readily distinguishable from subsp. filamentosa, if not for the geographical provenance.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Philip Miller “The gardeners dictionary” Volume 1 1835
2) Urs Eggli “Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Dicotyledons” Springer, 2002
3) George Don “A General System of Gardening and Botany” Volume 3 Rivington, 1834
4) Doreen Court “Succulent Flora of Southern Africa” CRC Press, 01/giu/2000
5) Stuart Max Walters “The European Garden Flora: Dicotyledons” (Part I) Cambridge University Press, 1989
6) Werner Rauh “The Wonderful World of Succulents: Cultivation and Description of Selected Succulent Plants Other Than Cacti” Smithsonian Institution Press, 1984
7) Alfred de Jager Jackson “Manna in the desert: a revelation of the Great Karroo” Brevitas, 2006
8) George Glenny “The Handbook to the Flower Garden and Greenhouse“ Houlston and Wright, 1861
9) Adrian Hardy Haworth: “Miscellanea naturalia, sive dissertationes variæ ad historiam naturalem spectantes” J. Taylor, London 1803
10) John Sims: “Anacampseros filamentosa. Thready Anacampseros.” In: Curtis's botanical magazine. Volume 33, plate 1367.
11) Gordon D. Rowley “The illustrated encyclopedia of succulents” Crown Publishers, 01/Aug/1978
Anacampseros tomentosa (Anacampseros filamentosa subs. tomentosa) Photo by: Giuseppe Distefano
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Cultivation and Propagation: Anacampseros filamentosa subs. tomentosa is one of the more common species in cultivation and quite resistant to cultivation. The only things that can kill this plant are cold and overwatering. Nevertheless, it is appropriate to provide adequate growing conditions in order to obtain compact plant with many flowers.
Growth rate: Slow growing to start but does well under cultivation. They need to be moderately large (about 20 cm in diameter) before they flower.
Soils: Use a an open and free draining mineral compost with little organic matter (peat, humus) that allows therefore roots to breath (as it is rot prone). Outdoors a well-draining rocky or sandy soil is ideal.
Repotting: Repot Anacampseros filamentosa once a year in order to evaluate the health of the plant and provide a larger growing space being careful not to damage the sensitive roots.
Watering: It likes a winter's rest and should be kept completely dry during the winter months. From early spring onwards the plant will begin to grow and watering should be increased gradually until late spring when the plant should be in full growth. Water regularly during the aestival growth cycle so long as the plant pot is allowed to drain and not sit in a tray of water (this plant need plenty of water) But needs to be avoided wetting the bodies of these plants while they are in sunlight. A wet plant in the sun light can cause sun burning which can lead to scars or even fungal infections and death. From late summer watering should be reduced to force the plant to go in to a state of semi dormancy, by autumn you should be back in to the winter watering regime. Keep dry with ample airflow in winter (but for outdoors cultivation it is somewhat resistant to wet conditions, too if grown in very draining substrata). In the rest period no high atmospheric humidity!! Care must be taken with watering as they tends to become swollen and untidy in growth habit if given too much water and shade.
Fertilization: Feed with a high potassium fertilizer in summer during the growing season diluted to one-fourth potency and mix into the watering can for application.
Hardiness: Keep dry at 5- 10° C in winter, but can tolerate sporadic light frost if kept on the dry side prior to, and during, cold weather. Pots may be placed outdoors during the summer months, but must be moved indoors during the winter. USDA zones 9-11
Exposition: The plant tolerates bright situations, if kept too dark they may become overly lush and greener and could be prone to rotting due to over watering. Strong but filtered light encourages flowering, but is likely to suffer from sun scorch or stunted growth if over exposed to direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day in summer. .
Uses: It is an excellent plant for container growing. It always looks good and stays small. It look fine in a cold greenhouse and frame. It do well outdoors in raised beds, rock gardens and terraces as well. The slowly creeping stems cluster freely to form mats as a small area ground cover. Anacampseros filamentosa also makes an excellent potted windowsill plant.
Pests & diseases: It may be attractive to a variety of insects, but plants in good condition should be nearly pest-free, particularly if they are grown in a mineral potting-mix, with good exposure and ventilation. Nonetheless, watch carefully for any significant decline in health. This may signal a pest problem that should be dealt with quickly in order to prevent scarring, stunting and even death.
- Red spiders: Red spiders may be effectively rubbed up by watering or misting the plants from above.
- Mealy bugs: Mealy bugs occasionally develop aerial into the new growth among the leaves with disfiguring results, but the worst types develop underground on the roots and are invisible except by their effects. Eliminate mealybug infestations by dabbing the critters with cotton swabs dipped in alcohol or by soaking the succulent roots in a systemic insecticide.
- Scales: Scales are rarely a problem.
- Rot: This species is particularly easy and accommodating, seldom suffer of cryptogamic diseases. Rot it is only a minor problem with cacti if the plants are watered and “aired” correctly. If they are not, fungicides won't help all that much.
Propagation: it is easy to propagate either through stem cuttings or seed.
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