Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Flowering Titanopsis calcarea

I bought my first Titanopsis calcarea plants (SB 1111; Magersfontein, Kimberley, South Africa) this summer and they have been growing in my unheated greenhouse since. I'd read that T. calcarea flower in late fall and winter but have to admit I was a bit surprised to see a flower on December 22, one day after the winter solstice.

Flowering Titanopsis calcarea – close-up
Flowering Titanopsis calcarea – close-up

The orange/bronze colored flower looks beautiful illuminated by the low winter sun. I'm fascinated by the rosettes of blue-green, white tipped leaves with grayish white tubercles – the species name calcarea means “of or pertaining to limestone”, i.e. looking like limestone.

Flowering Titanopsis calcarea (SB 1111; Magersfontein, Kimberley, South Africa)
Flowering Titanopsis calcarea (SB 1111; Magersfontein, Kimberley, South Africa)

T. calcarea clumps readily, forming dense succulent mats with age.

The plants were bought from Kakteen-Haage.


Snoopers said...

these are beautiful photos, thank you!

My own experience with winter-hardy cacti comes from having left a collection behind with my parents when I went to college. Of the 400-odd species there, only a very few survived the next decade until I was in a position to rescue them. Among them, Echinocereus Stramineus, Pachyphytum Oviferum, and Pterocactus Tuberosus.

I also salvaged seeds of Rebutia Muscula, and was able to germinate them, so that's technically another survivor too!

Anonymous said...

Wow! This picture is spectacular! The flower looks like from another world. Never tried living stones but I might give it try next season. The Titanopsis might be a very good choice, though I guess it is hard to keep in pots? Guess this general strangeness is what I love about succulents, especially asclepiads.