Tanquana hilmarii
(Syn: Pleiospilos himarii)

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of Cacti and Succulents.


Tanquana hilmarii (Pleiospilos)

This species has very handsome, soft to the touch and shining body
with tiny dots all over.
It stays small (2-3 cm wide) and  forms mounds of purple or reddish-brown grapes. 








Family: Mesebrianthemaceae (Aizoaceae)

Scientific name:  Tanquana hilmarii [(L.Bolus) H.E.K. Hartmann & S.Liede]
Published in: Bot. Jahrb., 106(4): 481 (1986)

Origin:   South Africa. Western and Northern Cape Provinces (Tanqua Karoo and Laingsburg In the Little Karoo)

Ethymology: The genus name is derived from the Tanqua Karoo ( also  known as the Ceres Karoo), the arid area where this plant comes from. The species has been named in honour of Hilmar Lückoff († 1994)

Habitat: It grows in very rocky environments and closely mimics the soil. The plant are rarely wetted by non-vaporous precipitation, receiving very scarce rain, none at summer, but ocean fog moves inland in the evenings, and this moisture sustains a wealth of succulent life in this harsh semi-desert region.

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 2.

Synonyms:  Pleiospilos hilmarii  L.Bolus 1931

Tanquana is a relatively newly erected genus of 3 or 4 species formerly  included in Pleiospilos. Although the two genera look similar and both come from the Western Cape of South Africa, there are some reason to keep separate the two genus: keels are present on Pleiospilos leaves but not on Tanquana, and capsules are quite different.





Cultivation: Tanquana hilmarii is  not too difficult to grow, although may not be easy for the beginners, it grows from September to March (in the northern hemisphere) and prefers a well-drained, mineral-rich soil.
Water sparingly, especially during winter when the new leaves absorb moisture from the ageing ones, and also in summer when the plants become dormant.
It enjoy some shade (avoid direct sun as it grows wild among rocks) and in summer it need to be kept in a cool area. Outside the plant need to be kept sheltered from rain. Leaf scars or cracks may be a form of overwatering called "being left out in the rain"
Ensure a very good ventilation. Avoid to repot frequently. This plant may stay in the same pot for many years.

Reproduction: Seed. Sow the small seeds on the surface of a Well drained seed sowing mix at about 22°C. Tanquana hilmarii seeds will usually germinate in 30-90 days, even under good conditions germination may be erratic. Normally will only germinate with light, the germination of this species is improved by "Smoke". "Smoke" contains a butenolide compound produced by certain plants when heated, it speeds up or starts the germination of seeds from many different genera.



Photo gallery: Alphabetical listing of Cactus and Succulent pictures published in this site.

Photo gallery TANQUANA