Edithcolea grandis

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The only type in its genus (monotypic genus) although there are several variations and type localities. Also known as the Persian Carpet Flower for its intricate and ornate, relatively large flowers. Native to Socotra, the Arabian Peninsula and West Africa. Teeth-like spines up and down each branch; grows like a stapeliad, rambling across the ground.


Though edithcolea is a succulent from a very hot, dry region, it seems to respond to consistent care in cultivation. Protect from full, summer sun in the South but give it plenty of bright, indirect light to bloom. In early spring, add some bloom boosting fertilizer. Blooming season here in Florida may be different than other places, but it is typical to see flowers from March to September.

Edithcolea want to live in a shallow, wide pot or bowl with plenty of drainage. They like to crawl around. Use at least 50% perlite or pumice in your mix.

Rots easily in cool temperatures, especially if kept wet. Susceptible to mealy bugs at the tips and under the stems. Fungus gnat larva can do some damage to the roots as well. Otherwise, it's pretty unappetizing.

This plant will give you unmistakable clues when it is happy or unhappy. A happy edithcolea is plump, with lots of spaces between the spines because of full stem expansion (full of water and food). It will be green as grass.

Sad edithcolea will start to turn a dark purple/burgundy color slowly. Then, they will start to shrink like a raisin. The color change is the first and most important clue. Too much light, or not enough water will cause this. The last and usually fatal clue is when they abandon their roots. They are not "rotting" off...the plant is actually aborting the roots by choice, getting rid of unnecessary body parts that cost it energy during stress. Either reduce light or water more when you see this stress color change!

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