Thursday, September 6, 2012

Mystery Mesemb of the Month: What Is It?

After my recent Faucaria post, in which I learned a lot about the changing taxonomy of mesembs and how nursery labels ain't always right, I found myself looking bleakly at a sorry little plant my local nursery gave me as a freebie when I bought a few supplies last week.  Scarred, withered, and forlorn, it sat in its pot, which bore a scuffed label, "Gibbaeum heathii".  I looked up this species in my books and went, "Huh. That's no G. heathii!"

Nursery labels can be...misleading. Okay, they can just be flat-out wrong.

So what is it?? Another Gibbaeum? A mutant G. heathii?? I'm thinking an Antegibbaeum fissoides. Or maybe a Cheiridopsis?  Many of my readers are far more expert than I am, so I am asking you to Name That Mesemb.  And thanks in advance for your good help! I am slowly learning. Really.

Here it is:

Mesemb mysteriosa
And here's a closer view, it's peeking around the corner now....

A new set of leaves (impossible to photograph yet) is emerging from the central leaf pair. It's got a velvety texture. That's all I can say! What is this creature of mystery?? And will it get along with my Lithops?


  1. Hi, little water at all times otherwise they crack, as you see older leaves, more Autumn/early winter growers. My gut tells me it may be G. pubescens, heathii is smooth.

  2. I have no idea what it is, but cool looking plant and great photos Marla!

  3. Hi, LT!
    Yes, it had been sitting out at the nursery during our recent tropical storm, it got waterlogged over a period of days, and it cracked! They were going to throw it away it looked so hopeless, that's why it was a freebie. G. pubescens is very likely, I'll know for sure if it blooms at some point. So far, it's still alive, so that's good.

  4. Lithopsland,
    I think for a "throwaway", it's doing OK, and the new leaves should be fine. Glad they gave it to me instead of chucking it in the bin!