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Products > Othonna capensis
Othonna capensis - Little Pickles
Image of Othonna capensis
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Asteraceae (Sunflowers)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Spring/Fall
Height: <1 foot
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 10-15 F
Othonna capensis (Little Pickles) - A moderately slow-growing evergreen succulent with fat swollen blue-green upright 1 inch long pickle-shaped leaves that grows in dense clumps to not much more than 4 inches tall and spreads to about 1 foot wide with foliage often blushing a purple red when drought stressed. From mid-spring through fall and sometimes year-round appear the bright yellow 1/2 inch wide daisy flowers that emerge from small violet-hued pea shaped buds and rise not more than an inch or two above the foliage. Plant in full sun in a well-drained site and water sparingly - some claim it likes regular water to be happy in hotter areas but for us along the coast it grows great with other succulents in a rarely irrigated bed. Does not like wet feet at all in the winter so best in a raised bed, along a rock wall or container if soil drainage is not great. Considered hardy to 10F and some say tolerant to USDA zone 5. Looking a bit like a well behaved green Iceplant until the flowers reveal it unrelated, it is a great little plant as a groundcover, along a dry border, in a container or scattered in with other succulents in a well-drained rock garden. This plant hails from the rough Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa. Fittingly the name Drakensberg means 'dragon mountain' in Afrikaans and the Zulu people called it uKhahlamba, which translates to a 'barrier of spears'. The genus name has two possible derivations - one is that it was the Greek name for a plant from Syria or Arabia that was used medicinally. Alternatively it could come from the Greek word 'othone' meaning "linen" that was used for a different plant with perforated leaves. This particular form was reported to be collected and brought into the trade by Panayoti Kelaidis of the Denver Botanic Garden.  Information presented on this page is based on research that we have conducted about this plant in our library and from reliable online sources. We also consider observations we have made of it the nursery's garden and in other gardens we visit as well, as well as in our nursery crops in the field. We incorporate comments that we receive from others as well and welcome getting feedback from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if they include cultural information that would aid others in growing  Othonna capensis.