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Encyclopedia of Succulents

  Ophthalmophyllum friedrichiae
(Syn: Conophytum friedrichiae)
CACTUSPEDIA       

 


Ophthalmophyllum friedrichiae (Conophytum)

This species has very handsome soft and shining body.
 

Description: Tiny groundcover succulent that forms mounds of purple or green grapes.
This species is however very variable in shape and  colour.
Bodies (paired leaves):  2-3 cm wide, soft to the touch, reddish-brown (usually), purple or almost pure aquamarine-green, translucent and shining.
Flowers: Usually pinkish but also reddish mauve or pure white, up to 3 cm in diameter.

Comment: Conophytum/Ophtalmophyllum

These plants forms a group within the large genus Conophytum and for a long time they was considered a separate genus, Ophthalmophyllum. Generally the Ophthalmophyllums look like they are formed from glass, ranging in colour from coke-bottle green to brown, to quite reddish. Some of these plants remain solitary, others clump quite readily; some are touchy in cultivation, some grow easily. They all resemble each other and are easy to recognize as a group. They include species such as C. friedrichiae, C. limpidum, the slightly fuzzy C. pubescens, and the clump forming C. praesectum.

 

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Family: Mesebrianthemaceae (Aizoaceae)

Scientific name:  Ophthalmophyllum friedrichiae (Dinter) Dinter & Schwantes

Origin  Northern Cape Province, Southern Namibia (Type locality: In the vicinity of Warmbad)

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 2.

Synonyms:  

  • Mesembryanthemum friedrichiae Dinter (1914)
  • Conophytum friedrichiae (Dinter) Schwantes (1928)
  • Conophytum renominatum Rowley (1978)
  • Conophytum schwantesii Rowley (1978)
  • Ophthalmophyllum triebneri Schwantes (1934)
  • Ophthalmophyllum vanheerdii L.Bolus (1962)


 

 



L
eaves are fenestrate and translucent.

Cultivation:  It is relatively easy to grow. These plants grow on winter rain and head for summer dormancy. The growing season in northern hemisphere is from September to March. They require little water; otherwise its epidermis breaks (resulting in unsightly scars).  Water minimally in summer, (only occasional misting 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.  It enjoy some shade (avoid direct sun as it grows wild among rocks and under the shade of other plants) and in summer it need to be kept in a cool area.  Hardy to -2C. Ensure a very good ventilation. Avoid to repot frequently. This plant may stay in the same pot for many years. Plants grown in larger containers have frequently relatively poor flowers. It might improve when the plants are given their own, small individual pots.

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 Ophthalmophyllum (Conophytum) friedrichiae.

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

Photo gallery OPHTHALMOPHYLLUM



 

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