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  Gibbaeum album CACTUSPEDIA       

 


Gibbaeum album in full bloom is an unforgettable experience. Violet flowers contrasted beautifully with an almost white plant body.
 

Description: Gibbaeum album is dwarf, compactm scarcely branched clump-forming succulent with greyish-white united leaf-pairs. Growing , always above ground. The 4 to 15 leaf-pais, develops mainly towards the outer edge hence pressed laterally to the soil, the interior of old plants is occupied by persisting old capsules and old leaves remnants.
Leaves: Up to 2.5 cm tall, isophyllous, 2 paired, unequal, asymmetric, (of which one more long)  developed into a prominent, slightly triangular and oblique keeled chin, mostly melted in each other, with a chalky white to greyish-white metallic colour, but not shining, because the leaf surface is folded by short, branched interlocking hairs.
Flowers: Daisy-like, white, pink to dark violet up to 30 mm long, pedicel 5-15 mm. The petals gradually inter-grade into white-pinkish filamentous staminodes.
Blooming season: Summer and long lasting.
Remarks:
The leaves of this plant are very similar to those of Argyroderma congregatum and Antimima dualis.

Notes: Various species of the genus Gibbaeum are called in Afrikaans, ‘Haaibekkie’. In English this means ‘beak of a shark’. This very apt name is derived from the shape of the two leaves that together form the plant growth. They differ in size and because these leaves grow closely together the fissure of most species looks exactly like the beak of a shark, though without the teeth of course. Gibbaeum album itself has also a South-African name, Bababoutjie, which means baby’s bottom.

Family: Mesebrianthemaceae (Aizoaceae)

Scientific name:  Gibbaeum album N.E.Br. 1926

Origin: South Africa (Cape Province: Ladismith)

Habitat: Grows in field of quartzite pebbels

Etymology: The genus name "Gibbaeum"  is derived from the Latin word "gibba" which means "hump" got its name from the leaf pair where the leaves differ from each other in shape and size.
The name 'album' comes from the Latin for 'white', the colour of the leaves.

 

 

 


Cultivation:
Gibbaeums are "winter" growers heading for summer dormancy and notoriously difficult to grow because they rot very easily, but G. album is not so difficult in cultivation, keeps going over the summer too and don’t’ need very special care . Requires little water otherwise its epidermis breaks (resulting in unsightly scars). Water minimally in summer, only when the plant starts shrivelling, water more abundantly when they are growing in the fall and spring. Requires good drainage. Keep cool and shaded in summer, need full sun or light shade. They will take a light frost (Hardy to -5°C) if they are in dry soil.

Propagation: Seeds, cuttings. It is best sown in autumn.

Synonyms:

  • Gibbaeum album N.E.Br. var. roseum N.E.Br. 1927
  • Gibbaeum album N.E.Br. forma forma roseum (N.E.Br.) G.D.Rowley 1958


 


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

Photo gallery GIBBAEUM



 

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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.

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