The other day somebody in the Succulent Fanatics Group on Facebook reported that their mimicry plant (Pleiospilos compactus) was blooming. I’d noticed buds on mine but when I went outside at lunchtime to take a photo, I saw this:
I was disappointed because I thought I’d waited too long and the flowers were already dying. Imagine my surprise when I checked again in the early evening and found this waiting for me:
I could have sworn that Pleiospilos flowers are open during the day and close in the evening, but apparently my memory was faulty. It turns out the flowers don’t open until mid-afternoon and stay open until nightfall.
Pleiospilus compactus is fairly common in the trade. You’ll likely find it at any big-box garden center in the rack with the $3 succulents. I’ve had mine for many years and it has grown tremendously since I moved it to a deeper pot that can better accommodate its tap root. I love the otherworldly look of this South African succulent.
Another member of this genus, Pleiospilus nelii, aka the split rock plant, maybe even more popular. Unfortunately, mine has never bloomed. I just read that it needs regular water in the winter to flower in the summer. I’ll be sure to water it occasionally this winter.