Pleiospilos nelii (split rock or splitrock) is a species of flowering plant in the family Aizoaceae, native to South Africa. It typically grows in semi-arid areas at an altitude of 870–1,250 m (2,854–4,101 ft).
Pleiospilos nelii is a succulent perennial which can reach a height of 5–8 cm (2–3 in) and a diameter of about 10 cm (4 in). This stemless plant has one or more pairs of opposite, almost hemispherical, grey-green or brownish leaves. The leaves have a deep fissure in the middle and many small dark spots on the surface. A new pair of leaves is produced each year, to replace the older pair, and occasionally two pairs are produced to form a small clump. This plant closely resembles a small cracked rock (hence the common name), which may have evolved as a defence against predators. The daisy-like flowers are yellow-orange, 6–7.5 cm (2–3 in) across, and emerge from the center of the leaves. The flowers are large in relation to the size of the plant. Each flower opens in the afternoon and closes at sunset, for a number of days.
P. nelii is one of several plants cultivated for their rocklike appearance. They are sometimes collectively called mesembs. In temperate regions it is grown under glass for protection from excessive rain and hard freezes. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.
- AFPD. 2008. African Flowering Plants Database - Base de Donnees des Plantes a Fleurs D'Afrique.
- Gibbs Russell, G. E., W. G. Welman, E. Reitief, K. L. Immelman, G. Germishuizen, B. J. Pienaar, M. v. Wyk & A. Nicholas. 1987. List of species of southern African plants. Mem. Bot. Surv. S. Africa 2(1–2): 1–152(pt. 1), 1–270(pt. 2).
- Fl. Pl. Africa 47: t.1865B (1983).
- Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 106: 475 (1986).
- Il.Handbook succulent plants: Aizoaceae F-Z : 220 (2001).
- Aloe 43[2&3]: 31 (2006).
|This Aizoaceae article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|