Huernia hallii


No synonyms are recorded for this name.


Huernia hallii is native to Namibia and South Africa, where it is endemic to the area of the Great Karas Mountains. Its area of occurrance extends for only 10000 square kilometers, at an altitude of 1300 to 1700 meters above the sea level. Its habitat consists mainly in rocky areas, where it grows in the shade of Pentzia bushes. The population is small but stable, though threatened by collection.


Huernia hallii is a dwarf, perennial succulent, rather popular among succulent lovers for its rarity and small size, along with the peculiarity of its flowers. It’s a little cluster of four-angled stems, grey to pale green, with a hint of brown and teeth all along their surface. The consistance of the stem is leathery, like a lizard’s skin, and the teeth are pointed and potentially harmful. Flowers, the main attraction of the plant, are campanulate (which, in botany, means “bell-shaped”), 3 centimeters wide, with a star-shaped corolla, divided into five pointed lobes. Between one lobe and the other are pointed protuberances, which are a typical feature of this species. The most striking feature of the flowers, however, is their colour: it is a leopard print-like pattern, pale yellow and dark, deep red. Despite its odd appearance might lead one to assume that its smell is as well, the flower is odorless. Pollinators are usually flies or other saprophagous insects.


Huernias are very easy to grow, but it’s not so easy to make them bloom: they in fact need to find themselves in ideal conditions to bloom. Here below are our tips:

Huernia hallii enjoys direct sunlight, so put it in a bright spot, as long as it’s sheltered from sun rays during the hottest hours of summer days. In Spring, it is happy with partial shade, and in Winter with plenty of light.
In general, Huernias must stay at temperatures above 5 ° C. Huernia hallii, in particular, is happy with Winter temperatures of around 10ºC, with plenty of direct sunlight and a completely dry substrate. In Autumn, H. hallii can be kept outdoors until the temperature falls below 10ºC.
Watering needs vary during the year: in Spring, when the plant comes out of dormancy, you’ll have to water frequently and abundantly, by soaking the pot in a basin full of water for a few minutes. In Summer, instead, the plant will tolerate heavy rains but also some drought. Watering once a week in summer will be sufficient. Always waite for the soil to dry up completely before each watering.
H. hallii needs a well-draining soil: use a substrate specific for succulents or add some perlite to an universal potting mix.
It enjoys some fertilization in summer: use a product specific for succulent, diluting it to half the doses written on the label
Repot once a year in Spring, when the stem covers completely the available surface of the pot.
In Summer, sort out the stems while the plant is resting. It has in fact two dormancy periods: one due to low temperatures in Winter, and one in the hottest, driest time in Summer. 


The easiest way to propagate Huernia hallii and all Huernias in general is the stem cuttings.
Once detached, cuttings must be left to dry for a few days before being replanted. Next, lay down the cuttings in a gritty, substrate. You can also try with sowing, in Spring in a moist substrate made out of sandy peat moss: by the way, cuttings are undoubtely easier to carry out and the odds of success are higher.


The name “Huernia” comes from Justin Heurnius, a Dutch missionary of XIIth century, who is deemed to have been the first to be interested in collecting and classifying the plants from Capo di Buona Speranza.

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