Anacampseros rufescens is a small perennial succulent native to South Africa. The plants reach about 3 inches (7.5 cm) tall, with spatulate leaves are 0.75 inches (2 cm) long that occur in distinctive basal rosettes that form dense mats. White filamentous hairs are present along the stems. These are great plants for dish gardens or used as a ground cover in USDA zones 9-11.
Blooming: In our greenhouse, the plants bloom in late spring. The 2 inch (5 cm) rose-purple flowers open in late afternoon. They are mildly fragrant and quite showy, as with all members of the Portulacaceae family.
Culture: Anacampseros rufescens need full sun to partial shade, with a well-drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of equal parts of loam and sand with small gravel added to insure good drainage. The plants are well watered and then allowed to dry thoroughly before watering again. We fertilize them twice during the growing season (in early spring and in late summer) with a balanced fertilizer diluted to ½ the strength recommended on the label. During the winter months, the plants are moved to the cool rooms, and the nighttime temperature is allowed to drop to 48°F (9°C), with daytime temperatures typically in the mid 50’s (12°C). During this period water is restricted to only enough to keep the leaves from shriveling. In early spring, watering is resumed.
Propagation: Anacampseros rufescens is propagated from leaf and stem cuttings by division of the dense mats or from seed. Fresh seed germinate in 14-21 days at 70°F (21°C).
Anacampseros rufescens was featured as Plant of the Week April 28-May 4, 2006.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.