Titanopsis (2003)

By Eric Driskill (May 2003)

South and southwest Africa are the home of the genus Titanopsis, with its eight species of dwarf clump-forming plants. The species have variously colored leaves with rough, fissured, pimply ends. They form low, clustering rosettes. Yellow flowers are produced in autumn.

Titanopsis grow quickly from seed and require a porous compost and careful watering, being kept dry in the winter and spring resting periods. They are a very rewarding succulent that can be cultivated on window sills in the home. Titanopsis also tolerate intense heat and heavy frost.

Titanopsis are truly impressive plants with unique leaves. Since they are dwarfs, you won’t have to devote much space for an impressive representation of the genus. Titanopsis would make great plants to enter in the Miniature Succulents class of the upcoming HSCS show.

Titanopsis calcarea, the best-known species, has whitish tubercules at the tops of blunt leaves. They are propagated from seed or by division of larger clumps. You can also purchase a mature plant from various nurseries.

For a really odd succulent that is sure to be a conversation piece, find a titanopsis to add to your collection, whether it’s in a greenhouse or on a window sill.