Conophytum N.E.Br.

Pebble Plant

Greek konos—cone, phyton—plant, referring to the body shape of many species.

Small perennial succulents without stems. Leaves in fused pairs forming the body of the plant which may be round, ovoid, oblong or cylindric. The top of the pair is flattened, sunken or notched and with a terminal fissure dividing the two, rarely with a window at the tip. Flowers solitary with a distinct calyx tube and petal tube, the stamens in a central column. Ovary with (4-)5(-7) cells; ovules with parietal placentation.

Species are identified largely by the form of the body, its colour and markings. Apart from the large number of species found in specialist collections the commonest cultivated species are probably C. bilobum (Marloth) N.E. Br. which has a pale green body to 5 cm high and yellowish orange flowers, and C. uviforme (Haw.) N.E. Br. which has an egg-like yellowish green body with dark spots that are formed into lines on the top and pale yellow flowers.

Division or seed.

Plants developing in groups, often mat-forming in time; bodies of 2 leaves almost completely fused together; flowers with a prominent long perianth tube; ovary chambers mostly 5.

About 280 species from Namibia and SW South Africa.

Rawe (1975a,b,c, 1981, 1982a,b, 1983), Hammer (1989).

Source: Spencer, R.; Thompson, A. (1997). Aizoaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Caryophyllanae
order      Caryophyllales
family       Aizoaceae