Lenophyllum guttatum f. variegata
Lenophyllum guttatum f. variegata is a nursery-produced cultivar and thus doesn’t exist in nature. The regular form, Lenophyllum guttatum, is instead native to North-East Mexico, where it grows in rock crevices and forms little clusters.
L. guttatum f. variegata is a little succulent plant, perennial, herbaceous, consisting in a cluster of fleshy rosettes, reaching a maximum height of 10-20 centimeters. Leaves are the most striking part of the plant: arranged in opposite pairs on the stems, they are tongue-shaped, rather concave, and show an incredible grey and purple pattern. The thickness of the leaves, along with the peaked pattern, make them look like some kind leather. The red pattern forms dots, blurs and irregular stripes, so that the plant looks bloodstained.
Blossoming occurs in late summer and autumn. The plant produces then an elongated flowering stalk, equipped with scattered alternate leaves, that branches towards the top and bears 6 to 11 flowers. The latter are green-yellow and have 5 petals: they last, on the plant, for a long time, after which they produce spreading brown fruits called follicles. A follicle is a dry unilocular fruit, containing two or more seeds. In L. guttatum f. variegata, seeds are brown, oblong to elliptical.
L. guttatum f. variegata is not tough to cultivate. Here below are our tips:
Put it completely exposed to direct sunlight, whether the plant grows in a greenhouse or outdoors.
Don’t leave it at temperatures below 5 ° C: during the WInter, just place it indoors.
Water abundantly and regularly in Spring and Summer, gradually decreasing the amount of water with the arrival of autumn until suspending the irrigation completely during the winter.
Regarding fertilization, during summer it is recommended to use a balanced liquid fertilizer every 6/8 weeks.
Repotting is not very practiced because it is likely to lose the ornamental aspect of the plant. Being a small plant, however, is generally not necessary.
L. guttatum f. variegata can be easily propagateb by seed, cuttings or division of the bushes. Sow at a temperature of 19/24 ° C, using a sandy mix in a shaded area and maintaining it moist (not too much) until germination. The most successfull way of It must be rooted in pure, slightly damp sand. Sprouts can also be used to divide from the plant in spring or at the beginning of the summer.
Lenophyllums are suitable for shrubbery borders and desert gardens in warmer climates.
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