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 Weather Station

Products > Drosanthemum speciosum
Drosanthemum speciosum - Royal Dewflower

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Aizoaceae (Ice Plants)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Orange Red
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: [Mesembryanthemum speciosum]
Height: 2-3 feet
Width: 2-4 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Drosanthemum speciosum (Royal Dewflower) - A small subshrub that can grow up to 2 1/2 feet tall with a solid cover of small 3/4 inch long tubular upwardly curved succulent green leaves on narrow woody stems from which the showy orange red flowers burst into bloom in late spring into summer. In the wild the flower color ranges from yellow through dark red but ours grown from cuttings are a dark orange-red. These flowers, which are open in mid-morning through the afternoon and may not open at all on cloudy days are a lighter color near the center with noticeably dark stamen filaments. These dark filaments are a trait they share with Drosanthemum bicolor and Drosanthemum micacans. Plant in full to part sun in a well-drained soil and irrigate only occasionally. Cold hardy to around 25F. This plant is best used as a small specimen and can be fairly long lived in the garden; specimens in gardens in the Santa Barbara area 8 years old or better still look stunning each spring. It is not been known to have naturalized in California, though there has been some confusion between this plant and Malephora crocea, which is a plant that has naturalized in coastal southern California. Drosanthemum speciosum is native to the Western Cape of South Africa, though its type locality is not now known. The plant was first described as Mesembryanthemum speciosum in 1795 by Adrian Hardy Haworth in his Observations On The Genus Mesembryanthemum but later reclassified as Drosanthemum speciosum by the German botanist Martin Heinrich Gustav (Georg) Schwantes in 1927. The name for the genus comes from the Greek words 'drosos' meaning dew and 'anthos' meaning flower in reference to the glistening bladder cells on the leaves of some species that resemble drops of dew and it is also this that gives plant in this genus the common name Dew Flower. The specific epithet is from the Latin word 'specios' meaning "beautiful", "brilliant" or "showy" in reference to the vivid show of flowers in late spring. Our original stock plant from John Bleck.  The information on this webpage is based on research conducted about this plant in our nursery library, from online sources, as well as from observations made of it as it grows in the nursery in containers, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens where we have observed it growing. We will also incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from those who may have additional information, particularly if this information includes cultural information that would aid others in growing  Drosanthemum speciosum.