Trichodiadema

Family: Aizoaceae
Habitat: Cape Province (South Africa) and Namibia.
Cultivation: To maintain the Trichodiadema’s “natural bonsai” appearance, it is advisable to prune the branches carefully every year to keep them as compact as a tree crown.
Curiosity: The name “Trichodiadema” comes from the Greek ‘trichos’, meaning hair, and ‘diadema’, which is a jewel to be put on the head, like a crown or a wreath. This is because of the ‘crown’ of hairy bristles in the leaves of these plants.

KEY FEATURES

The genus Trichodiadema includes small shrubby plants that reach a height of around 20 centimeters. The stem is woody and tends to enlargen, branch out and take on distinctive and highly decorative shapes.

Its natural habitat are dry lands, such as the Veldt in South Africa. The Veldt is a typical rural landscape consisting in a flat area covered in succulent shrubs. In general, Trichodiadema inhabits dry and rocky environments,in both winter and summer rainfall regions, in Quartz outcrops, shale or silcrete.

From the top of the stem grow elongated, swollen leaves, ranging in colour from grey-green to deep green depending on the species. A series of elongated white bristles sprout from the top of each leaf, which is one of the main features of this genus and which gives it the name Trichodiadema (literally, a “crown of hairs”). These hairy bristles remind the spiny areoles found on cacti.

Flowers are daisy-like, with long, narrow petals. In some species, such as T. mirabile, they are intensely sweet-scented. Their colours range from yellow to pinkish to white to dark red; they are more commonly bright fuchsia. They appear from late spring until early summer and are usually pollinated by bees, so the fruit set can take place in every latitude. Seeds of the genus are pear-shaped, minutely warty and grooved, brown or yellowish.

With their woody, trunk-like stems and beautiful leaves Trichodiadema look like natural bonsai trees and are therefore very popular with succulent (and other) lovers.

VARIETY AND TYPES

Today Trichodiadema is included in the larger genus Echinopsis. That’s why there is a lot of confusion about the classification, so much that, according to the classification used, different plants can be seen in this genus.

Here below are a fer species of Trichodiadema.
We invite you, as always, to look for them in our Giromagi online shop!

  • T. attonsum
  • T. aureum
  • T. barbatum
  • T. bulbosum
  • T. burgeri
  • T. calvatum
  • T. concinnum
  • T. echinatum
  • T. emarginatum
  • T. fergusoniae
  • T. fourcadei
  • T. gracile
  • T. hallii
  • T. hirsutum
  • T. imitans
  • T. inornatum
  • T. intonsum
  • T. introrsum
  • T. littlewoodii
  • T. marlothii
  • T. mirabile
  • T. obliquum
  • T. occidentale
  • T. olivaceum
  • T. oriental
  • T. peersii
  • T. pomeridianum
  • T. pygmaeum
  • T. rogersiae
  • T. rupicola
  • T. ryderae
  • T. schimperi
  • T. setuliferum
  • T. stayneri
  • T. stellatum
  • T. stelligerum
  • T. strumosum

TIPS FOR GROWING

To maintain the Trichodiadema’s “natural bonsai” appearance, we recommend pruning carefully each year to keep the branches compact like a tree crown.

Here are our cultivation tips:

  • Choose a position in full sun, but sheltered from direct sunlight during the hottest hours of the day.
  • Trichodiademas are heat-loving plants which do not tolerate low temperatures.
  • Keep them above 6-8°C.
  • Water regularly every 3-4 days in spring and summer, paying attention to let the soil dry well between one watering and the next to avoid the risk of rottenness.
  • Trichodiademas are not very demanding plants regarding the soil type, but an excellent dreinage is fundamental for their roots. A standard cacti mix can be used, enriched with a little peat.
  • Fertilize once a month during the vegetative period.
  • Repotting is necessary especially in the first years. Choose large pots to easily contain the robust root system.

Multiplication can be done either by sowing or by branch cuttings. With cuttings, however, great care is needed because they rot easily.

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www.giromagi.com

Italian Blog:
www.giromagicactus.com

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