Tillandsias, Mesembs, orchids, herbalism, art, pensive musings, and gardening on sand dunes.
Saturday, April 23, 2016
Schwantesia borcherdsii blooms!
Yes, I really do still grow mesembs, and Schwantesia is one of my newer additions. Schwantesias are dwarf mesembs, just like Lithops. They have gone through an extreme form of evolution to become very small, compact, and highly stonelike in appearance. They did this because they live in some of the harshest corners of our planet. (Do planets have corners? I guess they do!)
Schwantesia herrei, by Fred Dortort
According to Mesemb Expert Fred Dortort, Schwantesias don't turn their outermost leaves into dry, protective sheaths the way Lithops or Conophytums do. They live in cracks in boulders and other out of the way, rocky hideouts. The evolved along the Orange River. Their blooms are a startling yellow. They really don't like much water or soil. Here is mine, a Schwantesia borcherdsii:
Schwantesia borcherdsii in bloom, MRobb, 2016
I am thinking this little plant needs even less water than a Lithops, and perhaps it wants to be misted and splashed now and again, as it would along an arid river bank that flash floods every once in a while? Fred Dortort recommends soil devoid of organic matter, bright sun in the growing season, and a little water every 2 weeks during the growing season when light is longest. He says that if in doubt, don't water. So that's what I'm trying. So far, so good....