An Eco-sustainable World
HerbaceousSpecies Plant

Drosanthemum hispidum

Drosanthemum hispidum

Hairy Dewflower o Hairy Dewplant (Drosanthemum hispidum (L.) Schwantes 1927) is a succulent plant belonging to the Aizoaceae family.

Systematics –
From a systematic point of view it belongs to:
Eukaryota domain,
Kingdom Plantae,
Magnoliophyta division,
Class Magnoliopsida,
Order Caryophyllales,
Aizoaceae family,
Genus Drosanthemum,
Species D. hispidum.
The terms are synonyms:
– Drosanthemum hispidum var. hispidum;
– Drosanthemum hispidum var. platypetalum (Haw.) Schwantes;
– Mesembryanthemum hispidum L.;
– Mesembryanthemum hispidum var. platypetalum Haw..

Etymology –
The term Drosanthemum comes from the Greek δρόσος drósos dew and from ἄνθεμον ánthemon flower: with dewy flowers, to describe the cells full of water present on the leaves of many species of this genus similar, precisely, to dew drops.
The specific epithet hispidum comes from the Latin and means bristly, hirsute, due to the thick white or yellowish hairs.

Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
Drosanthemum hispidum is a plant native to South Africa and Namibia.
Its habitat is typically that of rocky areas, gravel slopes and sandy soils in its place of origin. It adapts well to the Mediterranean climate, characterized by hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. This plant is often found growing in fynbos vegetation which is the shrubby vegetation that populates a small coastal strip of the Western Cape Province, South Africa, called the Floral Kingdom of the Cape.
It grows up to 1,600 m. a.s.l..

Description –
Drosanthemum hispidum is an evergreen succulent plant that reaches a size of 30 to 60 cm in height.
This plant is low growing and forms dense carpets on the ground.
The leaves are fleshy and cylindrical, gray-green in color, 2 to 6 centimeters long, and covered with thick white or yellowish hairs, which give it a hairy or woolly appearance. The leaves are typically green but may turn reddish or purplish in response to environmental conditions.
This plant produces beautiful daisy-like flowers with vibrant colors, including shades of pink, purple, orange, or yellow that open during the day and close at night. The flowers are large up to 3.5 cm in diameter similar to daisies with 5 sepals and many petals.
The fruits are capsule-shaped and contain numerous light brown seeds.
Flowering is from late spring to midsummer, also depending on the latitude and altitude where it grows.

Cultivation –
Drosanthemum hispidum is a plant native to an area between South Africa and Namibia.
This plant is cultivated for its ornamental value as it tends to form colored carpets and varieties with white, orange or bicolor flowers are now common on the market.
It is a very suitable plant for rock gardens or hanging stems and collections of succulent plants.
It prefers well-draining soils and full sun exposure. This plant is drought tolerant and can withstand dry conditions, but also benefits from occasional watering during the growing season. It is best to protect it from frost, as it is not cold hardy.
It is an easy plant to grow, it adapts both to cultivation in pots and in open ground in rock gardens. It prefers sunny areas sheltered from the cold and the wind; it is advisable to water from spring to autumn only when the soil is completely dry. To always guarantee abundant flowerings it is good to fertilize in spring. Furthermore, if exposed to little light, the stems tend to lengthen, the leaves to become light green and to flower little.
The reproduction must be done in spring; young branches can be cut to be rooted as cuttings, after having dried the cut, they are buried only a few cm and left to root keeping moist. Alternatively, it is sown in spring, at a temperature of 18-20° C.

Customs and Traditions –
Drosanthemum hispidum is a succulent plant native to the coastal regions of Southern Africa and widely cultivated as an ornamental plant in many gardens and arid landscapes. Due to its ability to survive drought conditions and thrive in poor soil and rock gardens.
During the flowering season, which usually falls in spring or early summer, it produces showy clusters of star-shaped flowers. The flowers can be pink, red, or purple in color, and often have delicate petals and lighter shades in the center. The flowers open in the morning and close in the late afternoon, making for a colorful and fleeting display.
However, there are no specific traditional or cultural uses associated with Drosanthemum hispidum. It is mainly valued for its beauty and ease of cultivation. Some people may pick the flowers to make bouquets or decorations, but there are no specific cultural practices related to this plant.
This plant contains the alkaloid 4′-O-demethylmesembrenol structurally related to the alkaloids present in the Mesembryanthemum tortuosum plant of the same Aizoaceae family, and used for the treatment of anxiety and depressed mood, as a support for smoking cessation , in the case of attention deficit, as an aid in the phases of intense study. However, studies on D. hispidum are lacking.
There are no known food or medicinal uses.
From an ecological point of view, it is reported that the flowers of this plant are visited by Colletes schultzei of the superfamily Apoidea.

Method of Preparation –
Drosanthemum hispidum is a plant particularly used as a ground cover to cover large horizontal spaces such as low walls or rock gardens; furthermore it can also be placed in hanging vases or on shelves, from which its drooping posture will fully manifest itself with wonderful multicolored waterfalls.

Guido Bissanti

– Acta Plantarum – Flora of the Italian Regions.
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– GBIF, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.
– Useful Tropical Plants Database.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (ed.), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora of Italy, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Treben M., 2000. Health from the Lord’s Pharmacy, Advice and experiences with medicinal herbs, Ennsthaler Editore.

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Attention: The pharmaceutical applications and alimurgical uses are indicated for informational purposes only, they do not in any way represent a medical prescription; we therefore decline all responsibility for their use for curative, aesthetic or food purposes.

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