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11 March 2013

Malephora


Malephora is such a common succulent plant here and absolutely thrives in the climate of Tunisia, North Africa.  The flowers come in different colours.  I am particularly fond of this variety which has magenta coloured petals.


Malephora is a genus of succulent plants in the ice plant family. There are 13 to 17 species in the genus, many of which are known commonly as mesembs. They are native to Africa.
These are perennial herbs used as groundcovers lined with fleshy, smooth, sometimes waxy leaves no more than 6 centimeters long. Leaves are triangular or rounded in cross-section and are arranged oppositely about the stem. The tubular flowers arise from leaf axils or at the ends of stem branches. The flowers may be several centimeters wide. They have up to 65 narrow petals in bright shades of yellow, orange, pink, or purple. The center of the flower has whorls of up to 150 stamens. The fruit is a capsule that opens when it becomes wet, releasing the many seeds.
Some species are used as ornamental plants, particularly Malephora crocea.
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