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Products > Portulacaria afra 'Medio-picta'
 
Portulacaria afra 'Medio-picta' - Kaleidoscope Rainbow Bush
   
Image of Portulacaria afra 'Medio-picta'
 
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Didiereaceae
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Yellow/Chartreuse Foliage: Yes
Variegated Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: Lavender
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Synonyms: [P. 'Roulant', P. 'Kaleidoscope']
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Cool Sun/Light Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30° F
Portulacaria afra 'Medio-picta' (Kaleidoscope Rainbow Bush) - A very slow growing succulent shrub with attractive bright reddish pink new stems holding small 1/2-inch-long ovate green leaves that have wide white stripes down their middle, sometimes with leaves having little or no green at all. The small lavender pink flowers are seldom seen on the species and even rarer on this highly variegated form.

Plant in full coastal sun to light shade and irrigate sparingly to not at all. We have not tested this cultivar's cold hardiness much below 31° F, but it will likely be as hardy as other forms, tolerating temperatures to around 25° F and useful in USDA zones 10-11 or Sunset 8,9, 12-27. This very showy plant is slower growing than other forms of Portulacaria afra but culture is similar in all respects making this an easy to grow succulent that works as a great bonsai plant, hanging basket or a small shrub in frost free climates. The solid white leaves, while particularly attractive on the red stems, are best removed to increase vigor, and all green leaves should be similarly trimmed.

We have never ascertained anu information about the origin of this plant but thank Tony Krock of Krock Nursery for sharing this plant with us in 2012. We have seen it also listed with the cultivar names 'Kaleidoscope' and 'Roulant', with this later name likely referencing the French succulent grower and garden designer Roaul Raoulant of Cactées Roulant in Gattières , France, who may have introduced this plant.

For more information on the species see our listing for Portulacaria afra. We also grow the variegated form, Portulacaria afra 'Variegata', Portulacaria afra 'Aurea' - a large plant with yellow new growth, Portulacaria afra 'Low Form' - a prostrate form with green leaves, Portulacaria afra 'Skyscraper' - a narrow upright form, Portulacaria afra 'Cork Bark' - a corky bark form great for bonsai use and Portulacaria afra forma macrophylla - a large leafed form. All are great drought tolerant plants useful in the landscape or as container specimens. We have sold this interesting and attractive cultivar since 2016. 

This information about Portulacaria afra 'Medio-picta' 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.

 
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