These awesome caudiciform plants are native to the rocky slopes of the Little Karoo in South Africa. They store water in their fat stems and send out spindly vines in the summer. These specimens were grown from seed sown in 1979, making them 43 years old.
Fockea crispa 1 They are pretty cold hardy and never really go completely dormant, keeping most of their leaves all year. They stop growing December to April before they burst into action again. They enjoy lots of water in summer but need little, if any in winter. They grow lots of tiny yellow flowers that are pollinated by fruit flies in habitat.

Fockea crispa 2

Fun fact! Emperor Joseph II of Austria sent an expedition to South Africa looking for new and exotic plants. A large Fockea crispa was brought back to him and potted in 1794. It is still potted, alive and residing at the Schönbrunn Palace Gardens in Austria, 228 years later! It is believed to be the oldest potted plant in the world.

Fockea crispa 3

Big Cactus Rescue


No part of this article may be reproduced without permission. Copyright BCSS & the Author 2022