Gerrardanthus macrorhizus

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Gerrardanthus macrorhizus

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Gerrardanthus macrorhizus is one of the few caudiciforms that do not require greenhouse care and can be grown outside. Gerrardanthus macrorhizus will develop a plump, blob-like caudex which will grow to the size of its container. But in the ground, its handsome caudex will sprawl to over three feet in diameter, resembling a granite boulder! This can be a real conversation starter in the garden.

Sprouting from the top of Gerrardanthus’ caudex is a cluster of ivy-like vine. An easy-to-grow member of the cucumber family, the vine is deciduous and can be trained to grow up a fence or trellis. The medium dark green leaves are ivy-shaped, making Gerrardanthus macrorhizus a great choice for both large containers and hanging baskets.

Gerrardanthus macrorhizus is a native of South Africa and thrives in rock, succulent and cactus gardens, especially at the back portions of landscaping where the plant can climb fences, walls, trellises or arbors.

Gerrardanthus macrorhizus is dioecious, having male and female flowers on separate plants. The flowers are small orchid-like and golden yellow. Gerrardanthus macrorhizus is also one of the few caudiciform plants which do not need special greenhouse care and can be grown outside.

Horticultural Data

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Names and Synonyms: Gerrardanthus macrorhiza, Gerrardanthus mogarhiza
Common Names: Blob Plant, Bigfoot, Pregnant Pancake
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Origin: Southern Africa
Size Label: 1 Gallon
Height: 20-30′
Width: 4′-
USDA Zones: Zone 9b, Zone 10a, Zone 10b, Zone 11a
Cold Tolerance: 25 to 30°F; -3.9 to -1.1°C
Heat Tolerance: Very high
Light Requirement: Partial sun to shade
Water needs: Very drought tolerant but needs irrigation in hot dry periods. Requires excellent drainage.
Maintenance: None
Uses: Great in large containers. Young plants make interesting hanging basket subjects. Also good in rock, succulent and cactus gardens, especially at the back edge climbing a fence or wall or even a trellis or arbor.
Propagation: Seeds (dioecious, so both male and female plants are needed to set seed). Seeds do not store well, so sow as soon as possible.
Problems: Root rots from poor drainage
Research Links:

http://www.desert-tropicals.com/Plants/Cucurbitaceae/Gerrardanthus_macrorhizus.html
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/62352/
http://www.bihrmann.com/caudiciforms/subs/ger-mac-sub.asp

Shipping & Availability

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There is a minimum purchase of any 4 plants for online orders. All plants shipped bare root. Other sizes may be available for pick up from our growing grounds in Fallbrook, CA. For more information, give us a call at 760-990-4762.
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