miraculous devices and forms the collector will find in this amazing group of South African leaf succulents. But it can outline the four major groups again with some of the outstanding genera and species included in them.
The Shrubby Mesembryanthemumx There are probably no more familiar or popular succulents in all the world than the shrubby mesembryanthemums. In almost every desert playground, every warm seaside resort these plants display their flowers in dazzling sheets of color the year round. And in colder climates too they are among the most spectacular plants for rockeries and borders, pots and window boxes all summer long. Indeed, they have been so widely grown and loved that amateurs and nurserymen alike still call ihem by their old generic name. Mesembryanthemunu though they have long been separated into several distinct genera.
Perhaps the most beautiful of these shrubby "mesembry-anthemums ^ are found in the genus Lamp rant hus (lam-pran-thius), which forms bushy plants a foot or two high with narrow, fleshy leaves and exceptionally showy flowers about two inches in diameter. Some of its outstanding species art L coccineus, with glowing scarlet flowers; L aureus, a splendid pot plant with bright orange flowers; L conspicuus, spec-tabilist and zeyheri with rich red-purple blooms; L roseus. 3 lovely, soft rose pink; and L brownii, whose flowers open burnt orange, then slowly change to bright purple.
In marked contrast the genus Oscular id (ps-keu-lay -ri-ahi is grown more for the striking shape and color of its leaves than us flowers, It makes a rather low. shrubby growth, about a foot high, with attractive red stems and chubby, triangular, gray green leaves. In the species O, caulescens the plant is slightly taller and looser, with smooth leaves: in O. deltoides it is more compact, with toothed leaves; and in O. deltoides van muricata, it is very dwarf and dense, with shorter, smaller leaves that are heavily toothed. All these species produce numerous half-inch pink flowers in spring.
Another popular genus o> dwarf, bushy "mesembs" is Del-osperma (de!-oh-spur'-ma). Certainly the best known of its one hundred small, densely clustered, free-flowering species is D. echinatum. This is a very distinct little shrub, about a
' i fool high, whose green, fleshy, ovaJ leaves are covered with beautiful glistening white tubercles and hairs, above whici are displayed creamy-white, half-inch flowers the year round.
But the most remarkably jeweled leaves belong to the genus Drosanthemum (dro-san'-the-mum), for here the glistening tubercles are so numerous and bright that the plants seem bathed in dew. D. floribundum is an old favorite thai has long been used as a low ground cover on dry banks and slopes in mild climates. Its thin, trailing branches are closely strung with tiny, pale green, cylindrical leaves and display a solid mass of half-inch pale pink flowers in summer. But the finest of all is D, spec ios urn, which forms an erecL bright green shrub nearly two feet high, smothered with two-inch red-orange flowers (hat have a brilliant green eye. It is probably the most spectacular of all shrubby mesembryanthe-mums and a "must" for every collection.
The Trailing Mesembryanthemums. It is very difficult to draw a strict line of demarcation between the shrubby and trailing mesembryanthemums, for as we have seen in Drosanthemum floribundum, a genus may contain plants of both habits But on the whole, there are certain genera which are quite distinctly prostrate and are used primarily as ground cover and trailing plants.
Perhaps the most familiar trailing mesembryanthemum is that old garden annual the Ice Plant, Cryophyturn crystaUinum (kry-oh-fy'-tum), whose flat, fleshy leaves and creeping stems are covered with transparent tubercles that look like ice crystals, but are in reality water reservoirs and heat reflectors. It has naturalized itself in sandy places along the coasts of California and Lower California, Africa and the Mediterranean, and become so commonplace that the name Ice Plant
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