ISI 2008-26. Othonna retrofracta Jacquin

This precocious pachycaul packs away photosynthates at an early age to form a plump caudex. Later, slender branches develop atop the caudiciform trunk to form a charmingly awkward adolescent stage on the way to forming a small shrublet. Commonly labeled O. lobata or O. quercifolia, O. retrofracta is the older name to apply to this widespread Namaqualand species. The synonyms imply the variability of the species, especially with respect to division of the leaf into pinnatifid lobes. The species is ideally suited to culture in a Mediterranean climate or wherever winter-growing succulents thrive. Seedlings from controlled pollination of HBG 65252, plants originally from the Sheilam Nursery. $7.

Photo © 2008 by John N. Trager. Images may not be used elsewhere without permission.

Published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal, Vol. 80 (2), March - April, 2008