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Fenestraria - known as baby toes - add interest - SFGate -
Russian Space Lizard
2 other people
"The world of succulents is a vast and curious one, and nowhere is that more evident than in the common names that many of these acquire. You could almost make yourself a botanical version of the board game Concentration, where in this case you have to match the common name with the botanical of certain succulents. One of the more curious entries would certainly be Fenestraria, also called baby toes. One look at its rows of stubby little leaves and you're likely to see why. Fenestraria aurantiaca is a perennial succulent hailing from the semiarid areas of Namibia. The combination of the soft, fleshy leaves and the varying elevations give the plant architectural interest, despite its small stature (to 2 inches). As with certain haworthias, Fenestrarias possess translucent windows on their flattened tips. These qualities ensure year-round appeal, but baby toes also bloom, offering cheerful 2-inch, bright yellow, daisy-like flowers in late summer and autumn. Because of their modest size, baby toes are best grown in a pot, either by themselves or in a mixed succulent bowl. I have mine in the foreground of a bowl that includes a spotted haworthia, a Faucaria 'Tiger Jaws,' a stacking crassula, Aeonium 'Kiwi,' a complementary Gasteria 'Stones,' a blue senecio, paddle kalanchoe and a charming, tiny pink sedum. The great thing about succulent bowls is that nearly every combination of plants will work. Did you know? Fenestrarias belong to the large Aizoaceae family, which includes "mimicry plants," so called for their ability to camouflage with their environment. Baby toes use their translucent windows to filter the harsh African sunlight to enable photosynthesis. In their native habitat, sometimes only these windows are visible above the quartz sand. Cultivation Like most other succulents, baby toes prefer well-drained soil. Mix equals parts potting soil with pumice or perlite. Outdoors, grow in full to part sun; indoors, provide bright indirect light. Water thoroughly when...
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