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  Conophytum cordatum
(Syn: Conophytum bilobum)
CACTUSPEDIA       

 


The name Latin name "cordatum" means "Heart shaped" for the shape of the plants bodies, it is a richly branched groundcover plant and one of the easiest of all to grow.
 

Description: Richly branched groundcover species. This plant  would appear to be very similar in form and size  to C. velutinum.
Stem: Branched with very short internodes, but sometime - especially plants grown well protected from strong sun light can have relatively long internodes and form small shrubs 5-7 cm tall.
Bodies (paired leaves):  20-25 mm high, 12-15 mm broad, and 8-10 mm thick cordate (heart-shaped) in outline and keeled. Bluish green to hoary in appearance. The epidermis could be spotted or completey smooth.
Flower: Scentless, large (up to 3 cm), petals spreading, white to light violet at the base and violet or magenta toward the tips.
Blooming season:
The flowers are autumnal (rarely in summer) and diurnal.

Remarks: This plant is one of the innumerable form of Conophytum bilobum which is one of the most widespread and morphologically variable taxon.

Notes: Plants of the genus Conophytum are also known as 'living pebbles'. During the rest period (the summer months in Europe) a new body forms inside the old, gradually taking all the substances from it until all that remains is the skin, which dries and protects the young plant from the heat of the sun and excess evaporation of water. The resting Conophytum protected by this dry cover resembles a pebble and hence the name 'living pebble'. The growth period of most species is from August to March. The temperature should be about 10 to 12C.
 

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Family: Mesebrianthemaceae (Aizoaceae)

Scientific name:  Conophytum cordatum  Schick & Tischer 1927

Taxonomy: BILOBA GROUP

Origin:  It  is found in the western part of South Africa

Habitat:  Growing in a well drained soil with some water in winter and some sun.

Synonyms:

  • Conophytum bilobum, (Marloth) Nicholas Edward Brown 1922
  • Mesembryanthemum bilobum Marloth 1907
  • Conophytum cordatum Schick & Tischer 1927.
  • Conophytum auctum forma forma auctum N.E.Br.
  • Conophytum gregale N.E.Br. 
  • Conophytum curtum L.Bolus
  • Conophytum incurvum var. incurvum N.E.Br.
  • Conophytum absimile L.Bolus var. major L.Bolus

 

 

 

 

 

Cultivation: All the forms of C. bilobum are easy to grow. These plants grow on winter rain and head for summer dormancy. They require little water; otherwise its epidermis breaks (resulting in unsightly scars).  Water minimally in summer, (only when the plant starts shrivelling), but it will generally grow even in summer if given water.  Water regularly in winter after the previous year's leaves have dried up. Requires good drainage.  Keep cool and shaded in summer, it needs full sun or light shade. Hardy to -2C. Ensure a very good ventilation. Avoid to repot frequently. This plant may stay in the same pot for many years.

Propagation: It can be reproduced both by cuttings and seeds. Take the cutting from a grown-up mother plant.  Each cutting must contain one or more heads along with a fraction of root.

Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars of to the Conophytum bilobum complex (This Taxon has lots of synonyms ( like many other Conophytum) whit several controversial varieties and subspecies and comprises a multitude of different forms, but where each form is linked to others by populations of plants with intermediate characteristics):



 

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This old page has been moved! Click the link next on the right to enter the new Enciclopedia of Succulents. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.

Encyclopedia of Succulents