Family: Cactaceae
Habitat: Argentina
Cultivation: It requires an environment in full sun and well ventilated, with a minimum temperature of 6-7°.
Curiosity: The name of this family of plants literally means “barbed cup” (from the greek akantha, thorn, and calyx, chalice). The flakes on the floral tube and ovary are in fact modified thorns.


Are perennial small succulents from South Africa. They are recognized by the fleshy leaves, almost dark green but with pink areas (especially in the specimens that have had a high exposure to the sun), which grow in rosettes around thin stems. These basal rosettes can raise up to 20 or 30 cm. always arranging themselves around the central stem, or stretch remaining close to the ground. The leaf shape is oval or lanceolate.
It is on top of these stems that, in spring, white and pink flowers begin to appear, medium-sized, self-fertile, which means that each  flower  is able to provide seeds capable to give birth to a new plant. For this characteristic the plant can become a weed, especially some species (eg Anacampseros rufescens): when it is autumn  each plant can release a large number of seeds that will give life to new plants that grow not far from the mother plant.


The genus Anacampseros is now considered part of Anacampserotaceae family. Until 2010, however, it was considered part of the Portulacaceae and in many texts and articles on the web it is easy to find the old distinction.
Until now the species classified  are many. Among the most famous we mention the Anacampseros crinita, the Anacampseros filamentous, the Anacampseros rufescens (which has a particularly showy flowering) and Anacampseros lanceolata. Beware to Anacampseros Mill: despite the name, it is now considered a variety of Sedum. Instead, the Anacampseros quinaria, the Anacampseros alstonii and Anacampseros Trigona are today considered varieties of Avonia kind.


The plants of the genus Anacampseros are robust, easily to be grown and are hardly affected by pests and diseases. Among the various species, the aforementioned Anacampseros rufescens is the easiest to grow, it grows quickly and multiplies  to fill the vessels in which it is located. In general Anacampseros only requires  little attention, which we quote below.

  • They should be placed in full sun or, partial shade. The quality of light will also determine changes in the color of the leaves, giving them beautiful reddish areas (due to the reaction of the individual species).
  • They are afraid of the cold: the ideal temperature is above 8 ° C. In winter they have to be moved in a sheltered environment.
  • Watering should be limited: about once a week from March to September (checking that the ground is dry), once a month during the winter. Be careful with the tomentosa Anacampseros: its leaves, covered with hair, do not have to be wet because the hair could remained stained.
  • In spring and summer, fertilized every 15-20 days with a limited amount of specific fertilizer for succulent.
  • Even Anacampseros, like many other succulents, want a draining soil, soft, with a good percentage of sand.
  • There are no particular needs to repot because of the small size. Repotting may be necessary if you decide to keep together the mother plant and those born spontaneously from seeds fallen nearby, papering the entire surface of the vase.

The multiplication is done by seeds: use them fresh, collected in autumn when they are on the ground after the flower has withered, and plant in fertile soil which has to be kept moist until the germination is complete. It is also possible to take individual leaves and use them as cuttings, please cut them  close to the base and wait 24 hours before burying them.

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