PORTULACACEAE

In this family two genera are found which interest the collector of succulent plants. They are the genus Anacampseros and the genus Portulacaria.

ANACAMPSEROS. The genus is native to S. Africa. In practically all the species the flowers are rather small. The seed ripens quickly and is dispersed immediately. The genus is divided into four sections: namely, Avonia, Rosulatae, Tele-phiastrum, and Tuberosae. The Avonia section comprises species of low shrubs. The stems are simple and branched, the roots often tuberous. The leaves are roundish, very small and covered by silvery, scaly, overlapping stipules. The Telephiastrum section comprises low shrubs with stems more or less branching, the leaves often spirally arranged and very fleshy, with long white hairs in the axils. The Rosulatae section and the Tuberosae section contain one species each.

Anacampseros papyracea (Avonia section). Perhaps the best-known species. The stems, 3 to 4 inches in length and more or less prostrate, are covered with dry, papery scales, which are white in the new growth.

Anacampseros ustulata. (Avonia section). Similar to A. papyracea but smaller.

Anacampseros Alstonii. (Avonia section). An interesting plant with a root stock turnip-shaped and flat on top. The leaves are covered by silvery, closely adpressed stipules. The flower is whitish.

Great care should be exercised when watering plants in the Avonia section, for all species dislike excess moisture. In winter, they should be kept very dry.

Anacampseros baeseckii (Telephiastrum section). The stems are about 2 inches high, the leaves growing in a close spiral, pale green with white felt, also covered with bristly hairs, wavy and of a whitish-red. The flower is carmine with a white edge.

Anacampseros rufescens (Telephiastrum section). This species forms clumps with erect stems 2 to 3 inches in height. The thick leaves are greenish on top and reddish underneath, with numerous long bristly hairs. The flower is red.

PORTULACARIA. This genus consists of one species, often found in collections.

Portulacaria afra. S. Africa. A succulent shrub, tree-like, with the fleshy stems branched. The leaves are small, almost round, about J inch long. The plants, about 18 inches high, look very like Japanese dwarf trees. Well suited to room cultivation, though it rarely produces flowers, and these are inconspicuous. Propagation is by cuttings, which root easily.

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.