|Dyckia Marnier-Lapostellii in its nursery pot|
It's said to grow slowly to just 1 feet (30.5 cm) tall and wide. My new plant is almost that large already so it's a mature specimen. The leaves twist, giving it a claw-like appearance, like something that might be found crawling about in the depths of the ocean. Its leaves are covered with white scale-like hairs and sharp spines run along their edges. When wet the plant takes on a purple/burgundy color, as I discovered when it rained here last week.
|The same plant after a light rain|
I read that, if watered from above too frequently, it can lose its usual silver/white color but, when I checked it earlier this week, it was back to its pre-rain color.
|Dyckia restored to its ghostly silvery white color|
I'm not sure it wouldn't be better in a pot but, after risking those spines to get it planted in the ground in my dry garden, I'm planning to leave it where it is for now. All Dyckia have vicious spines but this one was particularly difficult to handle. It's reportedly best grown in cool sun and I'm also concerned that it may get too much sun where it is, which can turn the leaf tips brown but I'll keep a careful watch on it. According to on-line sources it wants more water than many spiny succulents, requiring regular water in summer but limited water in winter, another reason why it may ultimately require a move to a pot.
Dyckia Marnier-Lapostellii hails from Brazil and is named for a scion of the famous Grand Marnier liqueur family. This chameleon of a succulent is my contribution to Loree's favorite plants meme at danger garden. Visit her there to see her favorite this week and find links to other gardeners' favorites.
All material © 2012-2014 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party