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Avonia



My Avonia quinaria about to bloom



     Avonia is a genus of succulents from southern Africa that are closely related to Anacampseros. Unlike Anacampseros they don't have noticeably succulent leaves, the leaves are tightly packed around the stem and covered with white translucent scales. The stems can be branched or unbranched and arise from a small fleshy caudex. Stem size seems to vary from as little as 1/8 inch thick to pencil thick. The caudex can get to 4 inches or more in diameter slowly over time. Flowers are produced in spring (at least here in Arizona) and can be opague white to pink, red, or purple. They are reportedly deciduous, I assume that means the plant dies back to the caudex in winter. But mine retain their stems year round. They also go dormant over the hot summer. I'll have to keep my eyes open for that.
     They grow in sandy, gravel in the wild and grow best in a mineral rich mix in cultivation. They can be watered moderately when in active growth but sparingly when dormant. They are propagated from seeds and stem cuttings, though I've had little success with that.
     My fascination with Avonia started when I first saw a picture of a plant in flower. I believe it was Avonia rhoedesica. Since then I have acquired 4 species. So far only one, Avonia quinaria, has flowered. But then it's only May. The other three might still surprise me :-)


I have 4 species of Avonia
Click on a thumbnail below.


Avonia quinaria

Avonia meyeri

Avonia buderiana

Avonia albissima

All images and text are copyright 2005 to present, D.S. Franges, unless otherwise noted.