More Information About Bergeranthus
Bergeranthus is a genus of dwarf succulents that can only be found in the Cape Province region of South Africa and is named for the early 20th century German botanist, Alwin Berger, who was a succulent expert specializing in Agave and cactus. In their native habitat, they prefer a climate with distinct rainy seasons and dry seasons, so for best performance here in the US, we recommend that you plant Bergeranthus in well drained soil such as a rock garden or raised bed and provide plenty of water during their active cycle (late spring to early fall) and dry conditions during their winter dormant cycle. This strict water cycle can be arranged by planting Bergeranthus in the root zone of an evergreen shrub or tree that can take up excess water during the winter. By the way, this is the same advice we have for growing Cyclamen.
Bergeranthus is in the succulent family Aizoaceae and is a relative of a few other succulents that we grow including Delosperma and Ruschia. Like its family members Bergeranthus is deer-resistant, drought-tolerant and likes hot, dry climates. So it is great for a xeriscape garden or as a container plant. Bergeranthus is shallow-rooted and so would also make a good candidate for a green roof. Bergeranthus produces a profusion of large (relative to its size) daisy-like flowers throughout the summer. Its flowering schedule is very precise as it s a long day plant, so it will begin to bloom on exactly the same day year after year, regardless of the weather. Most species of Bergeranthus are not very cold tolerant, but in the warmer parts of the US, there are a few that you can grow outdoors and enjoy their exotic appeal.
Bergeranthus and its relatives are known in plant circles as mesembs because according to some taxonomists they belong to a family called Mesembryanthemaceae. Other taxonomists place mesembs into family Aizoaceae sub-families Mesembryanthemoideae and the Ruschioideae. Mesembs are succulents with a huge variety of fascinating shapes and large colorful flowers. There are thousands of species of mesembs and they are the South African equivalent to the North American Cactaceae family...succulent, arid-growing, endemic and highly variable. Like the cacti and their role in the flora of the American southwest, mesembs represent a large fraction of the flora in southern Africa. Mesembs are very popular with collectors of succulents because their wide morphological variety and large flowers provide a near endless pool of collecting opportunities. Mesembs have another fascinating trait...they produce seed pods that stay closed until they get rained on. The moisture on the seed pod triggers it to split open and release the seeds.
Over time, Bergeranthus root stocks become thick and bulb-like (we call this a caudex) and will raise above the soil level, making the plant appear like some cool miniature bonsai specimen. We recommend planting Bergeranthus in a rock garden and to pair it with other small xeric plants like Allium, Dianthus, Sedum, Selaginella, Cheilanthes, Aloe, Agave, Dyckia, Echeveria, Graptopetalum, Ledebouria, Manfreda, and Sempervivum. When you are ready to buy Bergeranthus for your garden, check out our online list of Bergeranthus for sale below.