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Argyroderma congregatum




     Argyroderma is a small genus of beautiful Mesembs from the Namaqualand area of South Africa. They are similar to Lithops and Conophytum in that they consist of two succulent leaves fused at the base. Each growing season (winter here) a yellow or sometimes pinkish purple flower grows from the slit between the leaves. After flowering a new pair of leaves emerges deriving it's energy to grow from the older pair. You can see this process in action in the picture above. The older leaves gradually shrivel and dissapear. Occasionally two new sets of leaves are produced instead of one and eventually small clumps are formed.
     Since they are winter growers they need to be watered carefully and kept warm during their growing season. The potting mix should be mineral based and drain quickly. The rest of the year they should be kept cool and dry. Only water when the leaves start to shrivel.
     I buy several of these at a time when I can find them because they aren't easy to grow. I lose most of them to rot. The three above have done fine in my greenhouse this winter, but no flowers. Now lets see if I can get them through the summer.


All images and text are copyright 2005 to present, D.S. Franges, unless otherwise noted.