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Products > Sarcocaulon vanderietiae
Sarcocaulon vanderietiae - Albany Bushman Candle
Image of Sarcocaulon vanderietiae
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Geraniaceae (Geraniums)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Flower Color: Pinkish White
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: [Monsonia vanderietiae]
Height: <1 foot
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Sarcocaulon vanderietiae (Albany Bushman Candle) An attractive slow growing winter growing and summer deciduous succulent shrub that reached to only to 8 to 12 inches tall by a couple feet wide, with spiny ground hugging branches that spread in all directions holding small somewhat heart shaped shiny fleshy bright green leaves subtended by thin 1 inch long spines. In late spring into summer at branch tips appear the showy 1 inch wide yellow centered white flowers with 5 papery textured petals that age to pinkish. Plant in full sun in a well drained soil with infrequent to occasional irrigation - this is a drought tolerant plant in the ground. Has proven hardy to short duration temperatures down to 25F. An interesting small shrub in the ground and a particularly nice decorative, bonsai-like container plant. It is found growing naturally on rocky hills and slopes in arid river valleys in the Albany District of the Eastern Cape Cape Province in South Africa. This species was originally described as Sarcocaulon, by South African botanist and taxonomist Harriet Margaret Louisa Bolus in 1932. The genus name comes from the Greek words 'sarkos' meaning "fleshy" and "caulon" meaning "stem" for the succulent stems. The specific epithet honors Mrs. Van de Riet, who collected the type specimen of this species. Sarcocaulon has a sister genus, Monsonia, named for Lady Ann Monson, the great granddaughter of Charles II of England and an 18th century plant collector on the Cape of Good Hope. In 1996 the German botanist Focke Albers published DNA analysis of Sarcocaulon and Monsonia indicating his belief that they should no longer be separate genera and proposed that all species of Sarcocaulon included in the genus Monsonia. This decision was not widely supported citing macro-morphological differences, the historical recognition of two separate genera, the different natural range of the two genera with Sarcocaulon largely confined to deserts and semi-desert regions in southern Africa while Monsonia are much more widely distributed from the south of the African continent into the Arabian Peninsula and India, and the lack of spiny stems on Monsonia that Sarcocaulon have. This has caused some confusion but most current nomenclatural databases maintain the two genera as separate. The common name comes from the fleshy branches that are covered with a flammable waxy substance that can be lit for light or to make a fire, even when damp. We thank Santa Barbara's senior succulent statesman John Bleck for sharing cuttings of his plant with us. 

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