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Products > Graptopetalum superbum
Graptopetalum superbum - Beautiful Graptopetalum
Image of Graptopetalum superbum
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Crassulaceae (Stonecrops)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Red/Purple Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: Red & Yellow
Bloomtime: Winter/Spring
Synonyms: [Graptopetalum pentandrum ssp. superbum]
Height: <1 foot
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Graptopetalum superbum (Beautiful Graptopetalum) - This succulent gem forms 5 inch wide flat open rosettes with fleshy, thick pale gray-lavender to pink colored leaves that cluster in rosettes at the end of thick stems. Old plants have been noted with stems as long as 7 feet but more typically this plant remains fairly compact, especially when grown in full sun. In late winter to early spring arise the 1 to 2 foot tall, open multiple-branched inflorescences holding dainty flowers with pale yellow petals with red markings on the tips, and with red sigma lobes and stamens, which like G. pentandrum number 5 while most other species of Graptopetalum have 10 stamens. Plant in full sun to light shade. Water occasionally to frequently. Hardy to 25 F or less. This easy to grow and prolific plant makes a good landscape plant or container specimen or even a hanging plant when stems elongate. It was reportedly discovered in by Luis Avina who noted it in a garden in La Barca near Guadalajara in the Mexican State of Jalisco. It was described by Myron Kimnach in 1987 as a subspecies of Graptopetalum pentandrum but more recently has been elevated to full species status as Graptopetalum superbum. This plant was imported into cultivation in the US by the late Rick Nowakowski of Natures Curiosity Shop. The Huntington Botanic Garden acquired cuttings from Mr. Nowakowski (HBG 49307) and offered it through the International Succulent Institute (ISI) in 1986 as ISI 1661. The name for the Genus comes the Greek words 'graptos' meaning "marked" or "inscribed" and 'petalon' meaning "petals" for the markings on the flower petals of many of the species. The specific epithet is from the Latin word 'superb' meaning "very beautiful". We also grow Graptopetalum pentandrum from which G. superbum differs in having broader rosettes with longer and wider leaves that are a gray-violet color while Graptopetalum pentandrum has yellow-gray leaves blushed violet. The inflorescence of this species is much more intricately branched than Graptopetalum pentandrum (12-15 times vs 3-4) and the flowers are redder. A major genetic difference between the two is that Graptopetalum superbum is a tetraploid with 64 chromosomes while G. pentandrum is a diploid with 32. See our listing of Graptopetalum pentandrum for more about this plant. 

This information about Graptopetalum superbum displayed on this web page is based on research we have conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations we have made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens visited, as well how our crops have performed in containers in the nursery field. Where appropriate, we will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share cultural information that would aid others in growing this plant.