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  Trichodiadema densum CACTUS ART
NURSERY

Cultivation and Mail Sale
of Cacti and Succulents.

 


It is a cactus mimic succulent that - when out of flower - at first glance looks like a Dolichothele, but the hair tufts on the ends of the leaves are not areoles. Each spine-tipped tubercle is a leaf; the stem is not succulent.
 

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The bristles on the tips of its leaves give this South African plant its generic name which means "hairy crown".
 

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Photo gallery TRICHODIADEMA


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Family: Mesebrianthemaceae (Aizoaceae)

Scientific name:  Trichodiadema densum (Haw.) Martin Heinrich Gustav Schwantes 1926

Origin South Africa (Cape Province, Willowmore)

Habitat:  Grows  crevice on quartzite rocks.

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 2.

Common NameAfrican Bonsai, Miniature Desert Rose

Etymology: This member of the Aizoaceae family was given this name by Martin Heinrich Gustav Schwantes in 1926. The genus name "Trichodiadema" means "hairy crown" referring to the hair radiating from the leaf tips.

Synonyms:  

  • Mesembryanthemum densum Adrian Hardy Haworth
  • Mesembryanthemum barbatum

 

Description: Small and compact, mat forming perennial succulent with fleshy caudex up to 3,5 cm in diameter. It readily produces abundant attractive pink flowers.
Stems: Wiry, prostrate up to 30 cm long (usually shorter) 5-10 tall, woody, not succulent, they branches profusely from the base and form dense bunch.
Leaves: Up to 2 long, smooth, green, close-set, in four vertical rows, cylindrical, slender with 20 to 25 white, flexible, spine-like projections that forming a delicate triple crown at the tip.
Flowers: Abundant, opening only in sun on the morning, and closing in the afternoon, vivid pink to magenta-carmine, up to 5 cm in diameter.
Blooming season: Autumn to Spring. Mainly in late-winter.
 

 



Trichodiadema densum is most usually seen species. It forms low growing mats.  The flowers are bright violet-purple at the end of winter.
 


Cultivation: Likes a part-shade position (some early or late sun) but is quite tolerant as regards sun and intense heat. Growing in well-drained soil, Tolerates considerable frost a low as 4 C (or less) and dry conditions due to its tuberous roots. This species is slow growing and after some years, the roots can be raised for effect, creating a beautiful succulent bonsai. This plants in the first years are usually grown in black nursery containers but if you have a mature specimen with a nice caudex, a bonsai pot or dish seems to make the plant a little more special and helps display the plant well.

Propagation: Seeds, it can be also reproduced by cuttings.

USE:
Roots of Trichodiadema species have been used in the past for speeding the fermentation of bread, beer, etc. It is presumed they contain either yeast or sugars which increase the rate of fermentation.

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.