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  Delosperma sphalmanthoides CACTUS ART
NURSERY

Cultivation and Mail Sale
of Cacti and Succulents.


Delosperma sphalmanthoides is an excellent rock garden plant, a real cutie that blooms in early spring with incredibly profuse display of jewel-like magenta flowers. It grows only 1-2 cm high by 15-20cm wide, as its so small but also it will take quite severe frost and can be grown as an alpine. Simply irresistible.
 


Description:
D. sphalmanthoides is a tiny perennial succulent (the smallest species in the genus) that grow in a tight mat resembling a small blue-green sea anemone that has anchored itself in the ground. It stay very compact and rows to 2,5 in height, width 20-30 cm.
Leaves: Tiny finger-like, plump, blue-gray.
Flowers: Spidery fuchsia-colored.
Blooming season: Flowers in very early spring. The flower buds become visible in December and  excessive dryness after this point leads to poor flower development.

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Family: Mesebrianthemaceae (Aizoaceae)

Scientific name:  Delosperma sphalmanthoides S.A.Hammer
in Cact. Succ. J. (U.S.A.), 1993

Origin: South Africa (Komsberg Mtns of the Cape Province)

Habitat: It is a high altitude alpine cushion plant from the mountains of the Winter rainfall area of South Africa and cold hardy. It is found in pockets of gravely soil on a massive high altitude rock outcropping. II needs moisture all year round but definitely goes semi-dormant in summer.

Common Names include:  Tufted Ice Plant Dwarf Sea Anemone Iceplant

Etymology: The species name sphalmanthoides comes from the Greek "oides", resembling; and for the genus Sphalmanthus (Aizoaceae).

 


Cultivation: Delosperma is a genus that require very little maintenance. Although they are succulent they need plenty of water. Treating them like other succulents with limited watering will cause their untimely death. This species can withstand severe frost (hardiness to -18 C ) and can be planted out of doors in northern hemisphere rock-gardens. They seems to enjoy a hot, full sun position in the rockery, where winter snows melt quickly. They need well drained soil with good drainage.
They are good container plant too. Plants in pots prefer light afternoon shade in hottest summer days while during the winter they can be watered less often, about every 2-3 weeks. Fertilizing this plant really isn't needed as it's already a voracious grower. However, a liquid 10-10-10 diluted to half strength or a cactus fertilizer once a month during spring and summer can benefit the plant. Repotting: Make sure to repot during its more active period, starting in spring. Prefers a soil with less organic material; extra pumice or perlite provides excellent drainage essential to these type of plants. Inside they grow fine on windowsills, and will even bloom, if they get enough direct sunlight.

Propagation:  Offsets that form at the base are the easiest way to propagate it, cuttings root readily and can form a groundcover within a short period, but seeds are also an options. Seeds germinate in 7-14 days at 21C. If they start to rot there is usually part of the plant that can be removed and possibly rooted.

Home | E-mail | Plant files | Mail Sale Catalogue | Links | Information | Search

All the information and photos in cactus art files are now available also in the new the Encyclopaedia of Succulents. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.