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Products > Mestoklema tuberosum
 
Mestoklema tuberosum
   

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Aizoaceae (Ice Plants)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Orange
Bloomtime: Spring
Synonyms: [M. arboriforme]
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): No Irrigation required
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Mestoklema tuberosum - A shrubby "Mesemb" (ice plant relative) to 18-24 inches tall from the arid northern Cape of South Africa and into Namibia. Develops a miniature tree-like habit with a gnarled caudex that has smooth reddish bark and small yellow-orange flowers appear in spring through summer. Plant in full sun or bright shade. Very dry growing, even in a container and cold tolerant to at least the low 20s F. This plant makes a very showy container plant, especially once the tuberous roots develop. Grow with tuberous roots in soil to develop size, then lift plant and replant with roots exposed. Keep twiggy stems trimmed for best look. There are differing opinions on whether the plants generally found in cultivation are Mestoklema tuberosa or M. arboriforme. Both are described with yellow to orange flowers and the description of these two in Jacobsen is vague enough that it could be either. On the Grigisby Cactus Garden web site it is noted that Mestoklema arboriforme has a reddish bark and forms a caudex such as ours has but Aizoaceae guru Steven A Hammer (co-author of Mesmbs of the World) tells us that the nomenclature of the group is a mess and that he believes the two name synonymous with Mestoklema tuberosa being the older and therefore the valid name though we note this is in contradiction to the late Heidi Hartmann's treatment of the genus in The Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Aizoaceae F-Z (2001). We received our plants from the collection of Alice Waidhofer with tags having both names but following Steven Hammer's suggestion we list it as Mestoklema tuberosum.  This description is based on research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments received and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Mestoklema tuberosum.
 
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