len-OH-fil-lum (?) a-kew-ti-FOH-lee-um
Lenophyllum acutifolium Rose is the accepted scientific name of this secies of Lenophyllum. The genus and species were named and described as such by Joseph Nelson Rose in Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections in 1904. The Lenophyllum genus was named and named by him in the same publication.
As of 12-19-22 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online lists seven species in the Lenophyllum genus. Llifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) only lists three species and this one isn’t one of them. The only information on Dave’s Garden is what I contributed in 2013. There was no pronunciation for “Lenophyllum” that I could find anywhere so I just made one up. 🙂
The genus Lenophyllum is a member of the plant family Crassulaceae with 36 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.
I don’t know why this species is not more popular since it is virtually indestructible…
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While I was living at the mansion in Mississippi a good friend of mine, Kyle Hall, brought me a cutting from a plant he found while he was walking in 2009. Him bringing me plants and cuttings was nothing new. But this one was different… I put it in the pot with one of my Lemon Eucalyptus and it took right off which is putting it mildly.
While my pots were in the backyard during the warmer months, I put them in the sunroom during the winter. When the weather was nice, I moved them to the front porch. While they were there, some leaves of “this plant” fell off and into a crack. They grew and spread in this crack. I soon learned that the leaves of this plant would root just about anywhere.
The Lenophyllum acutifolium always puts on a very good show of flowers.
Origin: Northeast Mexico.
Zones: USDA Zones 8a-11b (10 to 40° F).
Size: Sprawling stems grow approximately 18-20” long.
Light: Sun to part shade.
Soil: Average, well-draining soil or cactus mix is fine. Not particularly picky.
Water: Normal watering during the growing period, much less in winter.
Flowers: Yellow flowers in fall and winter
<<<<2013 IN MISSOURI>>>>
One fall when I was moving plants inside for the winter, a leaf from “this plant” fell in a plastic pot next to the sliding door by the den. The pot had no soil in it, just a few old leaves that had fallen in it from the trees. Well, the leaf from the plant took root and started growing. When I moved to Missouri in February 2013, that is the pot I brought with me. I gave up around 200 plants when I moved back to the family farm in mid-Missouri but I brought most of my succulents and a few other plants with me
I really never paid much attention to this plant. I didn’t even know its name until I got acquainted with Margrit Bischofberger of the International Crassulaceae Network when I was working on my first Belmont Rooster Blog in 2013. She said it was Lenophyllum acutifolium and asked to use my photos on her website. Lenophyllum acutifolium is fairly rare and there is hardly any information on the internet about it which is pretty sad. It is so easy to grow it should be a very popular succulent.
I had a lot to do in the summer of 2013 on the farm. Dad and I had to work the fences over around the pasture, there was the garden, etc. Dad was 82 at the time and wasn’t able to do that much plus it was time for him to rest. This plant was STILL in the same pot I brought it here in without any soil when this photo was taken. It is starting to bud right on time, though…
Even with no soil except from the decayed leaves that fell in this pot originally, it was strutting its stuff! I kept a lot of my succulents in the basement over the winter and was surprised at how well many of them did. If they seemed as if they were having issues, I would find them a place upstairs. The Lenophyllum acutifolium didn’t mind the basement one bit. There were a few windows for light and the temperature was around 65 degrees F. all the time.
It made it through its first winter so I decided it was high time it had a new pot with soil.
I gave up most of my plants shortly after the above photo was taken for a reason that didn’t work out. Now I have to find another Lenophyllum acutifolium. whch may be very hard. I would hate to have to drive all the way to Leland, Mississippi.
Personally, I think this species is one of the easiest in the Crassulaceae family I have grown. It has performed flawlessly in different conditions, even on neglect and without soil.
There is nearly nothing online about this species. I am very surprised it isn’t widely available since it is virtually indestructible and very easy to grow…
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Thank you for your blog, this was really helpful! Actually I’ve been searching for the name of this succulent, but I can’t find any, until I saw and read your blog. I bought this Lenophyllum Acutifolium last April 2020 from the market, even the Seller doesn’t know its name. I am amazed by this succulent because it can be grown easily, even its leaf will have its roots. I repotted them into 3 pots with different soil mixture. 2 of them grew like yours, in the picture. The other one grew with small leaves and having a darkish red color. But still, all of them looks lovely.
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Hello Ritzchelle! Glad to hear from you! I have been trying to find someone with this plant so I can get another start. I know if I drive back to Mississippi I could probably find it where it came from, but that is an 8-hour drive… I am really glad you found this plant and I hope it really is Lenophyllum acutifolium… Send a few leaves my way.:) Take care and thanks for the comment!
I bought this plant online here in the Philippines. It was only an additional order just to reach the minimum order quantity. Most of my plants from that batch never really thrived, but this one did and I have propagated it successfully through leaf and stem cuttings. Now I have pots full of this wonderful plant that does not demand much care but still rewards you with consistent growth of beautiful bushy glossy green leaves.
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Hello Nathan! I am so glad you have this plant! It is one I regret giving up because I can’t find it available. GEEZ! They are definitely great plants and seem happy no matter what. I have friends in the Philippines. 🙂 Take care and thanks for the comment!
I have a population of these at my grandmothers home growing wild in Simpson County, MS. Back in the 80s, my grandfather would get trucks coming in from Mexico/Southern Texas, which is where I believe this plant originated from(I personally believe it to be Lenophyllum texanum, as opposed to acutifolium). I believe the plant probably got to MS in the 70s, and I realized just now that my grandfather, after all this, also hauled watermelons to Leland and other places in the Delta, which makes me wonder if the population there, actually originated from my population. Even if not, I am confident that the two populations are related in some way. It’s a very interesting story and I am always trying to find new information about how an obscure texas succulent ended up so far away form it’s native range.
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Hello Safron! That would be interesting if the Lenophyllum in Leland came from your grandfather. The lady whose yard has/had these plants is active in the garden club so it is no telling where they came from. I would really like to have another start. I have never found them online but I have seen the variegated form which I don’t want. Take care and thanks for the comment!