Pachyphytum ‘Captain Jessop’
No synonyms are recorded for this species name.
Pachyphytum ‘Captain Jessop’, is an hybrid between P. bracteosum and P. viridae, thus it doesn’t exist in nature. However, Pachyphytums in general are native to Mexico, where they usually dwell in shady cliffs at altitudes up to 2000 meters, in very dry and windy conditions.
Pachyphytum ‘Captain Jessop’ is a perennial succulent with prostrate, hanging stems and leaves arranged in rosettes. It is an hybrid between P. bracteosum and P. viridae. The plant has the aspect of a cluster of flexible, greyish-green stems of about 10 centimeters in height, with a rosettes of leaves at their top. Rosettes are untidy, in the sense that leaves are not arranged in the typical circular way of regular ones, instead being more chaotic and crowded on the stems. Leaves are pronouncedly succulent, almost cylindrical, elongated able The feature that makes P. ‘Captain Jessop’ so sought after among succulent lovers is, especially, the intense red of its leaves, which is enhanced by exposure to direct sunlight and cool temperatures. Unlike in other hybrids, flowers, though small and inconspicuous, are still very pretty: they are small and borne on spike-like, curved, falling structures at the top of elongated stalks, which are usually longer than the entire stems and hide the flowers with their fleshy, bluish-green sepals. Flower’s petals are instead orange to red.
Pachyphytum ‘Captain Jessop’ is not so difficult to grow: another reason why it’s so appreciated and sought after among succulent lovers. It is recommended to placeit in a bright place, completely exposed to direct sunlight, especially in autumn. A direct exposure to sunlight will in fact enhance the colour of its leaves, making it much more intense and deep.Keep it at mild temperatures: never below 8 °C. During the Winter, if you live in cold climate areas, we advice to put it indoors or, at least, to shelter it. As its growth season occurs in Spring and Summer, you’ll have to water regularly in Summer and sparingly in Autimn and Winter, waiting for the soil to dry up completely before each irrigation (once a week in spring and summer will do well and once a month in autumn and winter). A well-draining and porous soil is the ideal solution, better if further enriched with inert materials such as pumice or lapilli. A good possibility could be a misture of 3/4 potting soil + 1/4 topsoil + organic fertilizer. Pachyphytum ‘Captain Jessop’ doesn’t need frequent fertilizations: it is sufficient to apply the fertilizer diluted with watering once a year. Given their small size, Pachyphytums in general don’t need to be repotted frequently.
Pachyphytum ‘Captain Jessop’ is a hybrid, thus it doesn’t produce fertile seeds. However, Pachyphytum leaves make excellent cuttings and are generally used for propagation. Place a leaf detached from the mother plant in a bed of sand in spring, taking care to let the wound dry first. Water moderately and keep at a temperature of about 21°C.
“Pachyphytum” derives from Greek and literally means “big plant”, referring mostly not to the size of the succulent, which is actually of a moderate size (maximum half a meter), but to the fleshyness of its leaves, which sometimes take a rounded shape.
The name of this hybrid, ‘Captain Jessop’, comes from Captain Jessop, a founder member (in 1946) of the Sheffield, England branch of the National Cactus and Succulent Society. He had held the rank of Captain in the British army in the Second World War and had a strong interest in hybridising plants. Brian and Gillian, two other plant breeders, named them both after Captain Jessop and introduced them to wider cultivation through their nursery.
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