ri-ah), a small pearl-gray plant suffused with pink and bearing two-inch yellow flowers in winter. Still pursuing this type of mimicry, species of the genus Gibbaeum (ji-bee'-um) owe their whiteness to a close covering of microscopic hairs that make the plants look like a pile of white quartz slivers. They are easily distinguished from other stone-mimicry plants, however, by their two closely pressed unequal leaves, which give the plants an uneven profile, like a Shark's Head, hence their popular name. G. album is a small species with very beautiful while leaves and while flowers; G. heathii has heavy, paired, greenish-white leaves like a pleiospilos; and G. shandii, long, narrow, gray-white leaves and bright red-purple flowers.
The last important type of stone mimicry among the mes-embryanthemums is found in the genus Titanopsis (ty-ta-nop'-sis), a group of small, rosette-forming plants whose leaves are covered with irregular white warts that match the weathered incrustations on the limestone fragments among which they grow. T, calcarea, the Jewel Plant, is the best-known species, forming a compressed two-inch rosette of blue-green to purple leaves studded with gray- or rosy-white tubercles and bright golden-yellow flowers.
Of windowed plants in various genera no collector should miss the two popular species that make up the genus Fenes-traria (fen-es-tray'-ree-ah). They are both small, light green, club-shaped, clustering plants with very prominent, glassy, "windowed" tips. The popular name Baby Toes is apt for either species F. auratuiaca, with one-inch plants and three-inch orange-yellow flowers; or F. rhopulophyila, with shorter plants and one-inch white flowers The single species of the genus Frithia (frith'-i-ah). Friihiu pulchra. is very much like the fenestrarias but somewhat smaller, with duller windows, and more difficult to grow; but its bright magenta flowers, centered white, last for two or three weeks at a lime and are well worth the extra effort. And finally, midway between
Lit hops and Conophytum, we find I he delightful genus
Ophrhalmophyllum (ofAhaV-mo-fiY-um). It contains beautiful little plants generally like Lithops in appearance and Corn* phyturn in growth habit, with very bright windowed tops O. friedrichiae makes a smooth green plant about one inch high that turns copper red during the resting period; O. maughanii, a larger, pale green plant with yellow-green windows and white flowers; and O. herrei, a velvety olive-green plant with fragrant white flowers tipped with pink
The cultural requirements of these meseml ryanthemums vary as widely as their spread over South Africa. While they all require protection from frost, maximum sunlight, and free ventilation, their needs in soil water, and drainage are still governed largely by the growing conditions of their original habitat, he shrubby and trailing mesembryanihemums are certainly not difficult to grow with almost any soil or treatment, bui as one moves into the more specialized types the need for careful handling and observation becomes imperative This does not mean that the clustering, stone-mimicry, or windowed mesembryanihemums are especially difficult, but they do require more careful treatment if the;-are to retain their unique forms and habits, cycles of growth and rest.
A basic soil mixture for these very succulent types consists of two parts coarse sand, one part decayed leaf mold, and one part soil, to which another part of pea gravel or stone chips should be added to give even sharper drainage and enhance the effect of these stone-mimicry and windowed plants, The latter, by the way, should not be buried deep in the soil as in their native habitau but allowed to stand up out of the surrounding pebbles so that they are more clearly visible and less susceptible to rot,
Phe danger of ratting is very great in cultivation, as these plants grow actively and need water for only a few months of ihe year and must be kept quite dry during the resting
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