A few pictures from the Mesemb (Living Stones) show yesterday. There are plenty more pictures to come. So many very nice plants there, and naturally I picked up a few plants for myself. ;)

I’m no expert on Mesembs, but I’ll try to name the ones in the pictures above as best I can (top to bottom):

2 different Conophytum species, Cheiridopsis sp.?, Faucaria tigrina, another Conophytum and Lithops optica f. rubra.

Two month update!

It has been two months since I planted my first round of seeds, so it’s time for an update on their progress!


The cacti are still doing very well.  They have nice spikes going.  Also, I’ve determined that the giants are Opunita, I know because in my second batch of seed buying I purchased a pack of Opuntia and recognized the seeds.  They are doing cool things with growing a little cactus lobe on top of their tall bilobed sprouts.  I moved them to the windowsill two weeks ago and some of them started to turn reddish brown.  I moved them away because I think that means they’re getting too much sun.  That may be the downfall of buying variety packs of seeds, some will like the sun, and some won’t, but they’re all in the same container!


The Faucaria are doing so well!!!  Many of them have started growing a second set of leaves in the middle, which makes them look very cool.  I moved them to the windowsill and they are eating up the sun and loving it.  They’re the biggest of the non-cactus succulents at this point.


The Mesembryanthemum are also getting their grow on.  They look similar to the Faucaria, but are more varied in their sizes.  Some are growing a second set of leaves.  They’re also still laying down for the most part, those sleepy mesembs!


The Puya look wildly different from the rest of the bunch.  They seem to be very happy and growing away.  Their leaves are abundant and lengthy.  I don’t know what their next step will be, but I’m looking forward to it since they’re the odd ones out!


The Crassula are still very little.  They’re skinny and small compared to the other seedlings, but some are also growing a second set of leaves.  Keep it up little ones!


The Lithops are small, but they’re hanging in there.  It’s cute that their baby selves are just smaller versions of their full grown selves.  They have the most predictable shape out of the bunch.  My full grown Lithops plant that I bought a year ago just died this week, so I’m more worried about these guys than I had been.

Now, I must unfortunately come clean and say that I think I killed some of my seedlings as well.  A few succumbed to mold and seem to have died off.  I’m not giving up in case there are some late-to-germinate sneaks in there (probably denial, but I can hope…).  The fallen soldiers include the Cheiridopsis and the Gibbaeum.

I’m still very excited about my urban succulent gardening experiment.  May these plants continue to grow for many months to come!

This is Dragon. He is a Cheiridopsis variety.

I found him in some forgotten corner of a plant shop, crammed in an plastic container that he clearly had outgrown. He looked sad and misplaced; so I grabbed him up!

He has slightly raised bumps and pointy toes. He feels kind of like a toad when you touch him.

I’m pleased to report that he is much happier here in Succland, hanging out this his succ-y friends.

Cheiridopsis pillansii, from Namaqualand in South Africa’s northwestern corner. This is the first time it has flowered for us, having been planted only a few months ago. The pale orange flower fading to white is quite appealing. It is worth noting that this plant came through a cold spell in December that turned many aloes and aeoniums to mush.


Cheiridopsis denticulata is not an uncommon plant in the northwestern part of South Africa, but it is a wonderful species with pale bluish finger-like leaves and large flowers which are almost white when they first open, then acquiring a tinge of yellow or pale orange on the second day. As a winter-rainfall plant, it is happy with our dry summers and rain in the winter months, but it needs excellent drainage and plenty of sun to be happy.


Like Cephalophyllum, Cheiridopsis is a genus in the Ice Plant Family which is concentrated in the western part of South Africa, in the winter-rainfall zone. This one is Cheiridopsis robusta, which has the bright yellow flowers which are so often seen in the genus.