Fenestraria ropalophylla subsp. aurantiaca
Origin: Beauvallon, Northern Cape Province, South Africa
Known as the Window Plant, Baby Toes or as "Vensterplant" in Afrikaans. It has an unusual habit to grow with most of the leaves below ground and only the windowed parts visible at ground level. A real curiosity plant. Light orange flowers for months during winter.
Plant size: Well established plants, about 5 to 6 cm in diameter are offered.
The mesembs (Mesembryanthemacea) is a very large family with about 123 genera and about 1600-1800 known species. The main distribution for the family is in southern Africa with species extending into east Africa, Arabian peninsula, Madagascar, Australia, and New Zealand. Mesembs are widely-spread and is found in all 9 provinces of South Africa. The plants occupy a wide range of habitats. From dry rocky areas, to high rainfall grass-veld. Leaf succulence is mostly represented in the family but stem or tuberous succulence is also known. Growth habitat varies considerably from tufted perennials, two leaved succulents, ground-covers to large shrubs.or two leafed ground covers and shrubs. The plants are normally recognised by their flowers and interesting fruiting capsules. Flowers of many species only open at certain times, some in the day, others in the late afternoon and some later in the evening. White, red, pink, yellow and orange is the most common flowers colours but other interesting colours and bicoloured flowers are also known. The ground cover and shrubby genera like Lapranthus, Carpobrotus, Aptenia and Ruschia makes very attractive garden plants. The highly succulent species like Lithops, Titanopsis, Conophytum etc are best suited to be grown in containers under cover.
Caring for your Mesembs
Pot: Most highly succulent Mesembs are best suited to cultivation in pots. Various Mesembs planted together and using colourful gravel and rocks together in a bowl, makes a beautiful miniature rock garden.
Soil: The plants prefer a very well drained medium, yet a finer sandier mix is perfect.
Light: Almost all Mesembs are found growing in very sunny or positions. Given too little light the plants will easily stretch and start growing abnormally.
Water: Most Mesembs are very drought hardy and care should be given to not over-water your plants. Rather too little than too much is my rule. Watering every week or second week is more than efficient, depending on the growing conditions and environment.