Habitat: South Africa, where they grow among the rocks in arid and sandy areas.
Cultivation: Not so difficult. Well-draining substrate, exposure to sunlight full in Winter and partial in Summer.
Curiosity: The name Stomatium comes from “Stoma”, in Greek “mouth”. That’s because of their stumpy leaves, organized in opposite pairs and arranged as if to form a slightly open mouth.
Stomatium is a genus of succulent plants, consisting of about 40 species, belonging to the Aizoaceae family.
Stomatium, like many succulents, are native to South Africa, where they grow among the rocks in arid and sandy areas.
Stomatium are small succulent plants that expand laterally, forming as mats, with usually grayish-green foliage, but in some cases also purplish, especially when exposed to intense solar radiation. The leaves are fleshy, shaped like upside down cones, but with lumpy apexes due to tiny bumps. Always in the apical part of the margins, these bumps are replaced by small, pointed, whitish teeth.These stumpy leaves are organized in opposite pairs, arranged as if to form a slightly open mouth. This is the reason for the name, Stomatium, which derives from “Stoma”, in Greek “mouth”.
During the blooming period, these plants show off beautiful yellow flowers, which grow on the apex of the fleshy stems and are enclosed by a calix of 5 fleshy sepals (“sepals” are leaves modified to form the calix, which is the structure that serves to support the colored part of the flower, called “corolla”).
VARIETY AND TYPES
Here below are a few species of Stomatium. Check our online store to find out more of them!
- Stomatium alboroseum
- Stomatium acutifolium
- Stomatium beaufortense
- Stomatium geoffreyi
- Stomatium jamesii
- Stomatium latifolium
- Stomatium loganii
- Stomatium meyeri
- Stomatium middelburgense
- Stomatium ryderae
- Stomatium suaveolens
- Stomatium trifarium
- Stomatium villetii
- Stomatium viride
TIPS FOR GROWING
If you live in areas with particularly harsh winters it’s better to keep them indoors and use them as houseplants. Otherwise, Stomatium are perfect plants to decorate your rock garden, where they would thrive in the cracks between the rocks, under larger plants but not completely sheltered from the sun. Be careful, if you keep them outside, to the winter rains: it’s better to cover the plant with a plastic sheet if the cold season is particularly rainy.
Stomatiums are native to warm and arid environments, therefore, to achieve success in the cultivation of these plants, you must follow some indications:
- Use a very well- drained substrate to avoid root rot.
- Another fundamental point is watering: moderate and regular watering during the growing season, suspended in winter. Always wait for the soil to dry before each watering.
- Stomatiums usually do not survive temperatures below 0ºC.
- If possible, fertilize your Stomatium with nitrogen-poor fertilizer for succulents and cacti once a month during the growing season. Use half of the recommended dose in the package and dilute it in water and then water your seedling.
Stomatium is propagated by sowing. Sow them in a fine, sandy substrate and keep the soil moist until the seeds germinate. Cuttings are rarely used.