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Origin and Habitat: Nothern Namibia, Northern Cape, northern Namaqualand and Bushmanland. South Africa.
Habitat and ecology: Anacampseros baeseckei is a small mimicry plant that shows a striking similarity to its background rocks and is very difficult to detect when not in flower.
- Anacampseros baeseckei Dinter ex Poelln.
Anacampseros baeseckei Dinter ex Poelln.
Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 26: 22 1929
- Anacampseros baeseckei Dinter ex Poelln.
- Anacampseros baeseckei var. crinita Dinter
- Anacampseros crinita Dinter
- Anacampseros parviflora Poelln.
Description: Anacampseros baeseckei is an erect, columnar succulent forming heads to about 30 mm tall and less than 15 mm in diameter. The leaves are closely packed, rounded about 4 mm long, 3 mm broad, with white felt and brownish bristles longer than the leaves. It is amongst the most interesting species, which is grown for the appearance of its fleshy leaves, rather rather than for its flowers. The freely produced flowers are dark pink or red with about 25 stamens.
Derivation of specific name: baeseckei = For the German botanist and collector Baesecke.
Branches: Short-columnar, erect, 2-8 cm, densely packed with overlapping leaves in several spirals (diameter 1-1.5 cm).
Leaves: Subglobose, obovoid or cuneate, 3-7 mm, 3 mm broad, rounded, chinned, verruculose at the tip, reddish-green, the hook cells merged into solid plates and hairs white more or less densely matted, longer than the leaves. Axils with brownish hairs and bristles to 1.5 cm long curled and sparse, some exceeding the leaf.
Inflorescences: Bracteate with 1 to 4 flowers.
Flowers: Approx. 16 mm in diameter; Sepals 5-8 mm, ovate-lanceolate. Petals 7-9 long, 4-5 mm broad, obovate to ovate-lanceolate, acute, dark pink, or red carmine with margins and lower faces often paler. Stamens 20-25.
Fruits: 5-8 mm.
Seed: Numerous, less than 1 mm broad, obliquely pyriform.
Chromosome number: 2n = 18.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Anacampseros baeseckei group
- Anacampseros baeseckei Dinter ex Poelln.: has columnar, branches, 2-8 cm tall, covered in closely packed rounded and matted leaves. Axils with brownish hairs. Distribution: N. Namibia and R.S.A. (N. Cape, Namaqualand and Bushmanland)
- Anacampseros baeseckei var. crinita Dinter: favoured by some as a good species, has larger leaves and long brown bristles. Distribution: South Africa (Northern Cape Province, Namaqualand)
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Doreen Court “Succulent Flora of Southern Africa” CRC Press, 01 June 2000
2) Hermann Jacobsen “Abromeitiella to Euphorbia” Blandford Press, 1960
3) Hermann Jacobsen “A handbook of succulent plants: descriptions, synonyms, and cultural details for succulents other than Cactaceae” Volume 1: 217 (1960) Blandford Press
4) Ben P. Barkhuizen “Succulents of Southern Africa: With Specific Reference to the Succulent Families Found in the Republic of South Africa and South West Africa” Purnell, 1978
5) Gerbaulet, M. “Die Gattung Anacampseros L. (Portulacaceae)” 1. Untersuchungen zur Systematik. Botanische Jahrbücher für Systematik 113:477-564. 1992
6) von Poellnitz, K., “Anacampseros L.”: Versuch einer Monographic, Botanische Jahrbücher 65: 382–448, 1933
7) Rowley, G.D. “Anacampseros and allied genera - a reassessment.” Bradleya 12:105-112. 1994.
8) Williamson, G. & Potter, L. 2005. Anacampseros baeseckei Dinter. National Assessment: "Red List of South African Plants" version 2013.1. Accessed on 2014/05/09
9) Werner Rauh “The Wonderful World of Succulents: Cultivation and Description of Selected Succulent Plants Other Than Cacti” Smithsonian Institution Press, 1984
10) Urs Eggli “Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Dicotyledons” Springer, 2002
11) Urs Eggli, Leonard E. Newton “Etymological Dictionary of Succulent Plant Names”
Springer Science & Business Media, 29 June 2013
12) Stuart Max Walters “The European Garden Flora: Casuarinaceae to Aristolochiaceae” Cambridge University Press, 1989
13) Edgar Lamb “The illustrated reference on cacti and other succulents” Blandford Press
14) Joël Lodé. “PORTULACEAE Anacampseros baeseckei Dinter” Edisud, Aix, 2000.
Série 24 retrieved from: https://www.cactuspro.com/biblio_fichiers/pdf/Lode/LodeS-Abromeitiella-Euphorbia_O.pdf
Anacampseros baeseckei Photo by: © Plantemania
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Cultivation and Propagation: Anacampseros baeseckei is one of the more common species in cultivation and quite resistant to cultivation. The only things that can kill this plant are cold and overwatering. Nevertheless, it is appropriate to provide adequate growing conditions in order to obtain compact plant with many flowers.
Growth rate: Slow growing to start but does well under cultivation. They need to be moderately large (about 20 cm in diameter) before they flower.
Soils: Use a an open and free draining mineral compost with little organic matter (peat, humus) that allows therefore roots to breath (as it is rot prone). Outdoors a well-draining rocky or sandy soil is ideal.
Repotting: Repot Anacampseros baeseckei once a year in order to evaluate the health of the plant and provide a larger growing space being careful not to damage the sensitive roots.
Watering: It likes a winter's rest and should be kept completely dry during the winter months. From early spring onwards the plant will begin to grow and watering should be increased gradually until late spring when the plant should be in full growth. Water regularly during the aestival growth cycle so long as the plant pot is allowed to drain and not sit in a tray of water (this plant need plenty of water) But needs to be avoided wetting the bodies of these plants while they are in sunlight. A wet plant in the sun light can cause sun burning which can lead to scares or even fungal infections and death. From late summer watering should be reduced to force the plant to go in to a state of semi dormancy, by autumn you should be back in to the winter watering regime. Keep dry with ample airflow in winter (but for outdoors cultivation it is somewhat resistant to wet conditions, too if grown in very draining substrata). In the rest period no high atmospheric humidity!! Care must be taken with watering as they tends to become swollen and untidy in growth habit if given too much water and shade.
Fertilization: Feed with a high potassium fertilizer in summer during the growing season diluted to one-fourth potency and mix into the watering can for application.
Hardiness: Keep dry at 5- 10° C in winter, but can tolerate sporadic light frost if kept on the dry side prior to, and during, cold weather. Pots may be placed outdoors during the summer months, but must be moved indoors during the winter. USDA zones 9-11
Exposition: The plant tolerates bright situations, if kept too dark they may become overly lush and greener and could be prone to rotting due to over watering. Strong but filtered light encourages flowering, but is likely to suffer from sun scorch or stunted growth if over exposed to direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day in summer. .
Uses: It is an excellent plant for container growing. It always looks good and stays small. It look fine in a cold greenhouse and frame. It do well outdoors in raised beds, rock gardens and terraces as well. The slowly creeping stems cluster freely to form mats as a small area ground cover. Anacampseros baeseckei also makes an excellent potted windowsill plant.
Pests & diseases: It may be attractive to a variety of insects, but plants in good condition should be nearly pest-free, particularly if they are grown in a mineral potting-mix, with good exposure and ventilation. Nonetheless, watch carefully for any significant decline in health. This may signal a pest problem that should be dealt with quickly in order to prevent scarring, stunting and even death.
- Red spiders: Red spiders may be effectively rubbed up by watering or misting the plants from above.
- Mealy bugs: Mealy bugs occasionally develop aerial into the new growth among the leaves with disfiguring results, but the worst types develop underground on the roots and are invisible except by their effects. Eliminate mealybug infestations by dabbing the critters with cotton swabs dipped in alcohol or by soaking the succulent roots in a systemic insecticide.
- Scales: Scales are rarely a problem.
- Rot: This species is particularly easy and accommodating, seldom suffer of cryptogamic diseases. Rot it is only a minor problem with cacti if the plants are watered and “aired” correctly. If they are not, fungicides won't help all that much.
Propagation: it is easy to propagate either through stem cuttings or seed.
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