Mestoklema tuberosa (7 Seeds)
Mestoklema tuberosa (7 Seeds)

Mestoklema tuberosa (7 Seeds)

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Mestoklema tuberosum - A shrubby "Mesemb" (ice plant relative) to 18-24 inches tall from the arid northern Cape of South Africa and into Namibia. Develops a miniature tree-like habit with a gnarled caudex that has smooth reddish bark and small yellow-orange flowers appear in spring through summer. Plant in full sun or bright shade. Very dry growing, even in a container and cold tolerant to at least the low 20s° F. This plant makes a very showy container plant, especially once the tuberous roots develop. Grow with tuberous roots in soil to develop size, then lift plant and replant with roots exposed. Keep twiggy stems trimmed for best look. There are differing opinions on whether the plants generally found in cultivation are Mestoklema tuberosa or M. arboriforme. Both are described with yellow to orange flowers and the description of these two in Jacobsen is vague enough that it could be either. On the Grigisby Cactus Garden web site it is noted that Mestoklema arboriforme has a reddish bark and forms a caudex such as ours has but Aizoaceae guru Steven A Hammer (co-author of Mesmbs of the World) tells us that the nomenclature of the group is a mess and that he believes the two name synonymous with Mestoklema tuberosa being the older and therefore the valid name though we note this is in contradiction to the late Heidi Hartmann's treatment of the genus in The Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Aizoaceae F-Z (2001). We received our plants from the collection of Alice Waidhofer with tags having both names but following Steven Hammer's suggestion we list it as Mestoklema tuberosum.  The information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens that we have observed it in. We also will incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that might aid others in growing Mestoklema tuberosum.