Thursday, 4 July 2019

DESKTOP 2163 - APTENIA

Aptenia cordifolia is a species of succulent plant in the Aizoaceae (iceplant) family known by the common names heartleaf iceplant and baby sun rose. Perhaps the most common plant seen under this name is actually Aptenia 'Red Apple', a hybrid with red flowers and bright green leaves, whose parents are A. cordifolia and A. (Platythyra) haeckeliana. The true species of A. cordifolia has magenta purple flowers and more heart-shaped, mid-green, textured leaves.

Native to southern Africa, this species has become widely known as a hardy ornamental plant. This is a mat-forming perennial herb growing in flat clumps on the ground from a woody base. Stems reach up to about 60 centimeters long. The bright green leaves are generally heart-shaped and up to 3 centimeters long. They are covered in very fine bumps. 

Bright pink to purplish flowers appear in the leaf axils and are open during the day. The fruit is a capsule just over a centimetre long. The hybrid, Aptenia 'Red Apple', has, in some areas, escaped cultivation and now grows as an introduced species. Its far more vigorous growth and ability to root from small bits of stem makes it a poor choice for planting adjacent to wild lands as it can prove to be quite invasive and can become weedy.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

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