Muiria is a monospecific genus in the family Aizoaceae. Muiria hortenseae is the only species in the genus restricted to a small saline area in the Little Karoo in the Western Cape Province of South Africa.

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March Mesembs

Remember back when I lived in West Hollywood and I only had a balcony and the only pictures I had to share were my Mesemb seedlings?

Well things have obviously changed but I still love my babies. From now on I am only going to take pictures of them on the first day of each month though. Should be more fun to see how they change from month to month.

First batch is of the 3 month old babies that were started January 1st when I had just moved in to my new place. Photos were taken with my (slightly) better camera so you can see the juicy water cells up close. They look like little lizard scales made of translucent green pearls.

Monilaria pisiformis (so cute!)

Muiria hortensea (ignore the Mitrophyllum that snuck in on the right)

My Mitrophyllum dissitum are over a year old and were recently potted up into their own little containers. Normally mesembs like this would have a dormant state (either in winter or summer) where they either rest or completely whither away and dry up and then when the rainy season begins they burst forth with new growth. Seedlings seem to go through accelerated growth though and shed their old leaves fairly often. I guess now that these guys are over a year old it might soon be safe to let them go through their seasonal dormancy but I need to research it further. Recently a few of them have started developing new leaves and they look a bit like a lizard shedding or a butterfly coming out of its chrysalis (or hell maybe even some sort of alien parasite bursting out of its host).

Mitrophyllum dissitum new growth emerging.

For some reason instead of the normal two leaves this one only formed a solitary, silly, phallic leaf. I’m curious to see if the new leaf will be the same or will it be normal. Can’t really tell yet. It does have two new branches forming at its base which is pretty neat.

And finally this one has completely emerged. The old leaves should shrivel up over time.

My Frithia pulchra are either sort of dormant or just unhappy. Apparently they want acidic soil and water. They got regular cactus mix and whatever my tap water is.

Cheiridopsis cigarettifera. I highly recommend Cheiridopsis if you want to try mesembs from seed. Very high success rate from seed and very easy to grow on. Look how branched they have become in just over a year. They are already becoming sizable little clumps. Most of them don’t seem to have any tricky cultural requirements as adults either.

I’m eager to see what changes next month brings. All the babies in the first pictures are currently growing in a western windowsill in my office and the yearlings are all outside. I did harden them off the first few weeks by bringing them in every night. There is a frost threat tonight so hopefully they will be OK.

Watch the video: Lithops Capsule Opening - Time Lapse

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