From the Cape Province of Africa, Trichodiadema bulbosum is a caudiciform commonly known as “African Bonsai.” This Ice Plant relative has a very thick, carrot-like caudex which develops with age. Small bright green to gray-green leaves covered with a crown of soft white hairs form on long stems that branch heavily to form a low rounded shrub. From spring to autumn, Trichodiadema bulbosum puts on a showy display of bright pink flowers with yellow-green centers.
Trichodiadema bulbosum is an excellent and unusual container plant, well-suited to a bonsai style presentation — especially when foliage is cleared away to expose the attractive caudex root. Trichodiadema bulbosum also makes an appealing trimmed specimen plant in a rock, cactus or succulent garden. Left on its own, Trichodiadema bulbosum will become a small-scale ground cover.
Roots of Trichodiadema species have been used for speeding the fermentation of bread, beer, etc. They likely contain either yeast or sugars which increases the rate of fermentation.
Names and Synonyms: Mesembryanthemum bulbosum
Common Names: African Bonsai
Origin: Port Elizabeth in South Africa
Size Label: 1 Gallon
Cold Tolerance: 25 to 30°F; -3.9 to -1.1°C
Heat Tolerance: Very high heat tolerance
Light Requirement: Full sun to light shade
Water needs: Very drought tolerant, likes some water during the growing season.
Maintenance: None, or trim as desired to shape into a bonsai form.
Uses: This is a nice container plant and is well-suited to a bonsai style presentation exposing the caudex root. It also makes a nice trimmed specimen plant in a rock, cactus or succulent garden; left on its own, it will become a small-scale ground cover.
Propagation: This plant can be propagated from seed and cuttings.
Problems: Requires good drainage
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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