Pebbled tiger jaws (Faucaria tuberculosa)

One of the plants I brought home from the recent Succulent Gardens Extravaganza (see here and here) was this unusual South African succulent in a puny 2-inch container:

Some of the plants I brought back from the Succulent Gardens Extravaganza

Its botanical name is Faucaria tuberculosa, but I find its common name much more interesting: pebbled tiger jaws. Taking a closer look at the plant, I can definitely see how the small white tubercles could remind someone of teeth.

Over time, Faucaria tuberculosa forms a small colony and will eventually look as beautiful as these specimens. This is a plant I want to enjoy up close so I’ll keep it potted, hoping that it will some day fill a small shallow bowl.

Planting it in the ground might not work too well here in Davis anyway since it doesn’t seem to be too hardy. In all likelihood, a light frost is all it can take (the literature is a bit vague on this subject). If I keep it in a pot, I can easily move it to the front porch together with the dozen of other frost-sensitive plants I have somehow managed to accumulate.

The reason why I’m writing about my tiger jaws today is that much to my surprise it has started to bloom! The flower is a bit squished, but it’s still a cheerful sight at a time of year when not much else is in flower.

Often it’s the small things (including small plants) that give you the biggest jolt of excitement!

Faucaria tuberculosa flower. The dried black parts on the left are the remnants of old flowers.
Faucaria tuberculosa
In this photo it’s easy to see the white tubercles that resemble teeth or spines.


  1. Gaz is not normally into succulents (it's more my thing) but when he saw this a few years ago in one of our nursery visits he liked it so much he bought one. And it's still in our greenhouse looking well :)

  2. I love this plant myself. What a great bloom. Believe it or not I have one planted in my front planter by the house. It has lived through 2 seasons of cold and rain. It has some other succulents with it but seems to be ok.

  3. Mark, do you keep yours in the greenhouse year round?

    Candy, very good to know that it's hardier than I thought! Maybe I will plant it in the ground after all. I'll take a look at yours next week.


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