Submitted by: Jim Tanner
Adromischus is a genus of at least 28 species of small clumping leaf succulents from South Africa. Some natural hybrids are known. Several of these species are quite popular and can be found pretty easily in the cactus and succulent section of most nurseries and garden centers.
The attractively marked and colored leaves of many species appeal to collectors but require high light levels for the different colors to be seen to full advantage. In shade most species adopt a similar green color. As the plants age, some elongate losing leaves lower down their thickened stems. Opinions vary as to the merits of mature plants compared with smaller ones.
Adromischus flowers are generally small, with a greenish-white tube and pink or reddish corolla and produce sufficient nectar towards the end of the growing season.
Cultivation: Many species are easy to grow in any free-draining gritty compost. Their compact habit allows a collection to be maintained in a small space and they grow well on any sunny window ledge or the top shelf of the greenhouse. Adromischus tolerate cool, frost-free conditions during the winter if kept dry. It is as well to keep water off the foliage during the winter. Mealy bugs and vine weevils can be discouraged with a systemic insecticide.
Many species can be propagated from a single leaf, which should be placed against the side of the pot so that the stem end is just touching the compost. Some species drop their leaves easily and although each leaf will form a new plant it can be a challenge to grow a large specimen. In other cases, leaves for propagation must be carefully detached with a sharp knife.
LATIN LOOKUP – Loquerisne Latine (Do you speak Latin)?
The meanings of latin plant names on this page – from http://davesgarden.com/guides/botanary/
- Adromischus [ad-roh-MIS-kus]
From the Greek hadros (thick or stout) and mischos (stalk), referring to the short pedicels.
- alstonii [al-STON-ee-eye]
Named after Arthur Hugh Garfit Alston (1902-1958), pteridologist and collector.
- cristatus [kris-TAY-tus]
- fragilis [FRAJ-ih-liss]
- herrei [HER-ray-eye]
Named for Dr. Hans Herre, 20th century botanist and expert on South African succulents.
- leucophyllus [loo-koh-FIL-us]
With white leaves.
- maculatus [mak-yuh-LAH-tus, mak-yuh-LAY-tus]
- marianae [mair-ee-AN-ay-ee]
Named for Marian Marloth, wife of South African botanist Dr. Rudolph Marloth.
- nanus [NAN-us]
- phillipsiae [fil-LIPS-ee-ay]
Named for Lady Louise Jane Lort-Phillips, 20th century Norwegian amateur botanist and explorer who collected Stapeliads.
- triflorus [TRY-flor-us]