Conophytum flavum var. flavum
Conophytum flavum var. luteum
Conophytum flavu is native to South Africa, where it is able to grow directly on rocks crevices made of quartz, shale or granite.
Conophytum flavum is a unique, dwarf succulent plant, appreciated among succulent collectors for its rarity and small size. Its stem appears like a rounded botton, similar to a pebble, and it’s called, in botany, “body”. The bodies are actually a modified pair of succulent leaves, fused together in one dwarf structure, barely coming out of the soil. Each body reaches a diameter of 4 centimeters in diameter. It is bluish-green in colour, slighlty depressed on its central part, glabrous and smooth, sometimes spotted in darker green dots all over the top. At its center, it has a barely visible cleft, that widens, leaving space for the flower buds to sprout. Every year, a new pair of fused leaves is formed, and it sprouts from the central cleft, eventually replacing the older ones. Flowers are large if compared to the whole plant (2.5 centimeters in width), and look like yellow daisies, with their numerous (around 55) linear petals, arranged in two concentric series. They possue a paler, translucent, tubular green calyx, cup-shaped, and divided in 6 rounded lobes.
Conophytum flavum is not difficult to grow. Here below are our tips:
Conophytum flavum needs plenty of sunlight: if you grow it indoors, place it on a sunny window shelf. When you move it outdoors, avoid spots which are exposed to sunlight during the hottest hours of Summer days.
Its minimum tolerated temperature is -2ºC. However, to stay safe, we advise to place it indoors during the Winter.
It requires a good ventilation. Stagnant air might enhance the risk of rot.
Conophytum flavum is deemed to be a winter grower, unlike other succulents. We though advise to water it scarcely in general, as its epidermis is subsceptible to break. Always wait for the substate to dry up completely before each watering. In Summer, water once a week with very little water.
Choose a well-draining substrate: a standard soil for cacti will do good.
Fertilization should be carried out once a year using a specific product for succulents, rich in Phosporus and Potassium and poor in Nitrogen. Dilute the product with watering at half the doses recommended on the table.
Don’t repot frequently, as C. flavum can stay in the same pot even for many years. Also, plants grown in larger pots show less abundant blossomings.
Conophytum flavum can be propagated both by cuttings and seeds. The cuttings should be taken off by a grown-up mother plant and must have one or more heads, along with a portion of roots, unless they won’t be able to put new roots. Seeds should be sown in fresh, sandy substrate, to be maintained moist until the germination occurs. The ideal temperature is around 20 to 24ºC.
The name of the genus derives from the Greek kònos (cone) and phytòn (plant) because of the shape of some species, that look like little cones turned upside-down.
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