Cactuspedia home | E-mail | Photo gallery | Dictionary | Search 

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

  Conophytum truncatum CACTUSPEDIA       

 


Conophytum truncatum
This species was the first Conophytum described by Carl Peter Thunberg way back in 1791.
 

Description: C. truncatum is a slow-growing, clump-forming, perennial succulent that forms huge tight mounds of sometimes many hundreds of pea-shaped heads, each one of them consisting of one pair of reduced, fused succulent leaves that get absorbed and regenerated every year. This species comprises many morphological and geographical variant that was early classified as different independent species, but nowadays all this forms are considered part of a multiform species, where each form is linked to others by populations of plants with intermediate characteristics.
Stem: Stemless.
Bodies (paired leaves):   It is very variable in form, colour and markings with a sunken fissure at the flattened tip. Stems ranges from small (4-5 mm in diam.) to large (25 mm in diam.!); from completely unmarked specimens to very heavily dark spotted or lined, and from bright green, grey-green, blue-green to having a heavy reddish coloration all often within a single population!
Flowers:
The small flowers with spidery petals are nocturnal, and typically in shades of ivory-white, creamy, straw-yellow or salmon and very faint scented.
Blooming: season: Plants flower during the fall months; each blossom opens at night. During the day the flowers close.
Roots:
Very rudimentary filamentous root system
 

.

.


C. truncatum JE5664

C. truncatum Oudtshoorn
Family: Mesebrianthemaceae (Aizoaceae)

Scientific name:  Conophytum truncatum subsp. truncatum
(Thunberg) N.E.Br. 1920

Origin Widespread in the Little Karoo , Western Cape, South Africa. C. truncatum is the the easternmost species. Type locality (TL):  Camanasie

Habitat:  C. truncatum are winter grower succulents found in extreme dry areas in shale or quartzite rock crevices (or on gravel) - known as obligate rock dwellers - where they don't have to compete with other plants for water, space and light. They are found generally growing on east, south or west-facing rocky outcrops and slopes - very seldom north-facing (too hot). They are often found growing in amongst mosses and lichens and other shade lovers. They grow, receiving a bit of winter 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. Their flowers are pollinated by nocturnal moths.

Synonyms:

  • Mesembryanthemum truncatum Carl Peter Thunberg 1791

Heterotypic synonyms:
Mesembryanthemum albertense, C. brevitubum, C. caespitosum, C. cibdelum, Mesembryanthemum familiare, Mesembryanthemum malleoliforme, Mesembryanthemum minusculum, C. morganii, C. multipunctatum, C. orientale, C. parvipunctum, C. peersii, C. peersii var. multipunctatum, C. permaculatum, Mesembryanthemum purpusii, C. purpusii, C. renniei, C. spirale, C. stegmannianum, C. steytlervillense, C. subglobosum, C. translucens, Mesembryanthemum truncatellum, C. truncatellum, Mesembryanthemum truncatum, C. truncatum var. brevitubum, C. truncatum f. parvipunctum, C. truncatum f. rennei, C. wagneriorum.
 

 



Cultivation:
All the forms of C. truncatum 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.

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

 

Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars of Conophytum truncatum. (This Taxon has lots of synonyms ( like many other cacti) 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):

 

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

Photo gallery CONOPHYTUM



 

Cactuspedia home | E-mail | Photo gallery | Dictionary | Search 

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