len-O-fil-lum (?) a-kew-ti-FOH-lee-um
Lenophyllum acutifolium Rose is the correct and accepted scientific name of this plant. It was named and described by Joseph Nelson Rose in Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections in 1904. The Lenophyllum genus was named and named by him in the same publication.
Plants of the World Online lists eight accepted species in the Lenophyllum genus. Llifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) only list 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. 🙂
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, a 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. Kyle, the friend who brought me the start of this plant, said he still has some of them from a start he took when I moved. He said he will send some leaves but hasn’t so far. MAYBE he will in 2018… You can’t even find them online. There are a couple of other species I have found on Ebay so maybe I will try them, too.
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.
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