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Starr 070906-8495 Aptenia cordifolia.jpg
Aptenia cordifolia
Scientific classification

Type species
Aptenia cordifolia
(L.f.) Schwantes

See text


Litocarpus L.Bolus[1]
Platythyra N.E.Br.[1]
Tetracoilanthus Rappa & Camarrone[1]

Aptenia is a small genus of flowering plants in the family Aizoaceae. They are native to southern Africa.[2] The genus name is from the Greek a- (not) and ptenos (winged), and refers to the wingless fruit capsules.[3]

These are succulent subshrubs growing from a system of fibrous, often fleshy roots. The stems lie prostrate on the ground or may climb. The stem bases are woody, and the stems are green. The leaves are mostly oppositely arranged, but those near the inflorescences may be alternate. The leaf blades are flat, hairless, sometimes waxy, and usually heart-shaped, or occasionally lance-shaped. Flowers are solitary or grow in small, whorled clusters, usually in the leaf axils along the stem. The flower is about a centimeter wide. There are two large sepals and two smaller. The corolla contains many narrow petals in shades of pink, purple, yellow, or white, and several staminodes that look very much like the petals. The many fertile stamens at the center are white or yellow. The fruit is a capsule with four valves.[2][3]

Aptenia cordifolia flower leaves

In 2007, this genus and several others were transferred into Mesembryanthemum.[4] Two years later other authors proposed that this move be reversed.[5]

There are 4 species:[2][6]


  1. ^ a b c d Aptenia. U.S. National Plant Germplasm System.
  2. ^ a b c Aizoaceae. The Jepson eFlora 2013.
  3. ^ a b Aptenia. Flora of North America.
  4. ^ Klak, C., et al. (2007). A phylogeny and new classification for Mesembryanthemoideae (Aizoaceae). Taxon 56(3), 737-56.
  5. ^ Liede-Schumann, S. and H. E. Hartmann. (2009). Mesembryanthemum – back to the roots? Taxon 58(2), 345-46.
  6. ^ Aptenia. The Plant List.