Friday, January 4, 2013

Marlothistella: A Tufted Mesemb

A tufted mesemb, what does that mean? Well, if you are tufty, you have fingered leaves, usually textured and packed together. Your stems are short, and of course, your leaves are succulent. In the case of Marlothistella, the tufts multiply exponentially!

This is a fast-growing mesemb that can cover large sections of ground. It can handle a lot of variation in the environment, so I think it would work well outdoors, in a rock garden, or anchoring your fragile hillsides for future generations.

Marlothistella uniondalensis, MR 2012
The tufty Marlos are named after the augustly named apothecary and botanist Dr. Hermann Wilhelm Rudolf Marloth (but they just called him "Hermy"), who lived from 1855 to 1931. It grows in only a tiny portion of the Little Karoo of Western Cape Province, South Africa. It likes quartz flats. And sunny spots. And acid soil. When it gets more water, like mine does, the leaves grow more horizontally. During periods of less water, the leaves grow more vertically. They are spotted and slightly fuzzy. I water mine once a week.


  1. Ooh, I want one! Great find. I love the tufted mesembs about as much as the living rocks/rough/tooth leaves mesembs - and that includes a lot!!

    Just transplanted about 6 species or varieties of Cheiridopsis this afternoon/ so I am not kidding about the tuftsses...hehehe

  2. The tufty Marlos are very handsome looking plants. Thanks for introducing me to this lovely member of the Mesembs family...

    1. Right back at you, you've introduced me to many wonderful new species!