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The Gasteria of Southern Africa

Posted by Maria Luisa Strippoli on

Le Gasteria, belong to the Aloaceae family, and are native to the gravelly and rocky deserts of Southern Africa, where many different species grow; from these, numerous hybrids were then obtained (also intergeneric with Aloe and Hawortia) and variety.

They have fleshy, pointed leaves that spiral around the stem, hiding it. In species, their outer margin is smooth, while hybrids have tiny teeth or thorns; the surface of the leaves is sprinkled with white dots or small light-colored bumps, variable according to the species and variety. This feature makes this plant ornamental even when it has not bloomed.

Small flowers emerge as long flowering stems from the axils of the leaves: they are red or pink and have green tips.

Le Gasteria they prefer a very bright environment, but not in full sun to avoid sunburn. In summer you can also leave outdoors. Like most succulents, they should not be watered too often: especially in winter, they should be wet very sparingly, then increasing interventions from spring.

In winter they should preferably be placed in a rather cool environment. The substrate to be used is a good soil soft for cacti and succulents, very well drained.


Curiosity: The name of the genus comes from the Greek gastèr (belly) because of The Shape of the flower.

The multiplication can be carried out by detaching the suckers that form at the base of the plants.

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