[an error occurred while processing this directive]

[an error occurred while processing this directive]  


Mesembs | Images & Info | Conophytum
Succulent Information, Succulent Images & Information
Succulent Information, Succulent Images & Information
Conophytum Home
Images & Information
Taxonomic Breakdown
Pests, & Diseases
Other Genera
Free succulent monthly ezine, Update list & other lists
Monthly Succulent
Update List
3rd Party Lists

The Genus Conophytum
Cone Plant


chhd.jpg (20724 bytes)Conophytums, also known as Knopies (buttons), toontjies (little toes), waterblasies (water blisters), ogies (small eyes), sphaeroids, conos, cone plants, dumplings or button plants.  The genus name Conophytum is derived from the latin word conus, meaning cone, and the greek word phytum which means plant.  There is 88 species in the genus.

The plants are small and mat-forming.  The leaves unite to form a conical, oblong or cylindrical shaped body.  The leaves are green to brown, reddish or whitish blue in colour, they may be windowed, warted, velvety or spotted.  The leaves become papery husks in summer when the plant goes dormant, the plants look as if they have dried up and died.  The leaves reappear in autumn when the plants become active.

Flowers are mainly autumnal with the odd specie flowering in other seasons, some species flowers are diurnal others are nocturnal.   The flowers may be solitary or appear in delayed groups.  The colour of flowers may vary in colour, from magenta to blackish or coppery, red, yellow, orange, seldom scarlet, pink or white. Flowers may be scented.  Bracts are present but hidden in the petals, petals are partially united and in one specie the petals are connected to the sepal tube.  The stamens may protrude or be hidden in the tube, ovary is usually hidden in the plant body which protects it while it is ripening.  There are three to eight stigmas which are surrounded by nectar glands.  The fruit capsules are three to eight locular and are without covering membranes or closing devices.  The seeds are small. 

Plants are distributed in the arid winter rainfall areas, from southern Nambia to parts of the eastern Cape, the plants do not occur in summer rainfall areas.

Names, many species of Conophytum are very variable and the gardener needs to be able to identify particularly interesting forms. In some cases there are old Latin names, which are not used these days by more conservative botanists, that come to the rescue. You will often find these names used on lists and labels in inverted commas. Thus Conophytum ectypum "tischleri" defines a yellow-flowered form of a particular species that is usually pink-flowered. The original locality written on the label is also important in identifying attractive variants, so if "tishleri" came from Aribies it would have a plain green body, whereas the form from Eselsfontein is covered with a network of dark lines.



/ Antegibbeaum / Cheiridopsis / Conophytums / Dinteranthus / Fenestria / Gibbeaum / Hammeria / Lithops / Pleiospilos /