Genus of the month

The genus Phemeranthus

Common names such as “Sand Pink”, “Prairie-Fame Flowers” or “Rock Pink” are used to describe small succulent perennials in the genus Phemeranthus. The name for the genus is derived from the Greek “ephemeros” meaning living for one day and “anthos” which means flower.   Formerly in the genus Talinum, these small to tiny succulent plants are in the Montiaceae family.

About 18 species are distributed in many states  from Minnesota to Mexico and from the west to the east coast.  These perennial succulents are well adapted to dry conditions and flower profusely for many months.  Their flowers are not large, but have a beautiful dark pink color and there are many flowers per plant.  Flowers open in the afternoon and plants seed readily.  In the winter they become almost invisible, but will reappear in the spring.

These succulents are found in gravelly rocky areas or outcrops where the soil has very good drainage.  The plants require full sun.

A nice addition to any collection, Phemeranthus species will provide beautiful color with their frequent flowering.

Shown here are pictures of both species:  Phemeranthus parviflorum and Phemeranthus calycinus.  Both species are found in the Wichita Mountains of southwest Oklahoma.

The genus Conophytum

The genus Conophytum in the Aizoaceae family is another succulent from the winter-rain region of western South Africa and Namibia. Plants are small and can be solitary or in clumps. A survival strategy is a sheath that covers the plant in the dry season. The sheath which makes the plant look dead, minimizes water loss.

The genus Aloinopsis

Aloinopsis is a genus of clumping succulent plants in the family Aizoaceae. This genus is native to South Africa and there are about 7 species. The plants are small, but have large tuberous roots. Aloinopsis species flower in winter and the flowers have red stripes. Successful cultivation requires good drainage and a good amount of sunlight.