Pseudolithos cubiformis var. viridiflorus
Pseudolithos cubiformis is native to Somalia where the plant grows in grit with little water and some sun.
Pseudolithos cubiformis is a small succulent belonging to the Apocynaceae botanical family. This plant is very unusual for those unfamiliar with pseudolithos and can easily be mistaken for a stone. The succulent is solitary and forms a small stem up to 12 cm in height and 12 cm in diameter. The stem is cube shaped made of tubercles and the color range from the light green to the greyish green to reddish brown, depending on sun exposure. The more the plant is expose to the sun, the more it takes on a darker color up to reddish in full direct exposure. The roots are fibrous and shallow. Blooming occurs at the end of the summer and the blossoms are borne at the apex off the stem. The flowers are cluster-shaped, hairy, greyish-green in color and have a bad smell of rotting meat. Pollination is carried out by flies attracted by the smell of rotten meal. The fruits are pods containing up to 20 seeds. This plant is unique in nature for its regular shape that it looks artificial. This species is a must in your collection and is perfect for adding an innovative touch to your home and office.
This is a very slow growing plant, but it easy to cultivate. The plant needs a bright exposure, indirect sun-light, this will help development of flower buds. Long exposure to direct sun-light can cause burns and burnt spots. The minimum temperatures that the plant can withstand are 10° C, below this temperature it begins to suffer and going down further it no longer survives. Too low temperatures can cause the stem or leaves to break due to water freezing inside the tissues. Temperatures between 10 and 15 °C allow the plants to enter vegetative rest which is essential for the flowering of the following year. Plants should not be placed inside the house where average temperatures of 20 degrees prevent vegetative rest. The best draining soil for this genus is made up of 50% fertile loam and 50% pumice. The pumice should always be placed on the bottom of the pot. Remember to use a perforating pot to drain excess water. Watering can be done regularly during the vegetative period. During the vegetative period you can water the plant every 15 days with half a glass of water, checking that the soil is completely dry before watering again; in winter you should stop the watering to allow the plant to enter dormancy. Decrease the amount of water if the plant is kept indoors or if the pot is smaller than 12 cm. The plant is used to growing in poor soils, for this reason it does not need abundant fertilization, it is sufficient to fertilize once in spring and once in summer. If the pot starts to be too small for the plant you can repot the plant in a pot 2 cm wider. Repotting should be done early in the growing season with fresh new potting soil; it is usually done every 3-4 years. Be careful to red spiders and mealy bugs.
The plant can be propagated exclusively by seed. By seed it is very simple to propagate the plant, it is enough to sow the seed in a sandy loam and keep it with a high level of humidity and at temperature of 14 C°.
The name “Pseudolithos” literally means “false stone” and refers to the appearance of the plant which, along with other succulents, looks more like a stone than a vegetable to an untrained eye. The specific epithet refers to the shape of the stem.
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