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Kutrovy family, subfamily of lastovae. Homeland East and South Africa, the Arabian Peninsula.
In nature, according to various sources, there are about 60 species. The closest relative is the Stapelia Stapelia. All of them are perennial herbaceous plants with fleshy succulent stems, well branching. Adult specimens are wide spreading clumps. Unlike staples, guernia are thinner-skinned, the stems are usually glabrous, without pubescence.
- Guernia primrose Huernia primulina is one of the most decorative species, it has an attractive neat appearance - miniature bushes with short stems about 7-8 cm long and 1.5 cm in diameter. Stems are gray-green in color, 4 or 5-sided, with pronounced teeth, pointed at the end. The flowers are usually collected in 2-4 pieces, sometimes more, reaching 3 cm in diameter. The outer crown is a corolla, fused at the base into a narrow tube, about 7 mm deep, has five petals of a pale pink or cream color, slightly bent back at the ends, in the pharynx, the color is brighter - dark pink. The inner crown is clearly defined, with five rounded burgundy petals.
- Guernia Kenyan Huernia keniensis - stems branching in the root zone, have 5 ribs, with long teeth bent to the bottom, pointed at the end. Stems are long, semi-ampelous, reaching a length of about 30 cm, and 1.5-2 cm in diameter. The flowers are claret-red, as if velvet, with almost completely fused petals, forming a wide funnel up to 3 cm in diameter. In inflorescences 2-5 flowers.
- Guernia striped Huernia zebrina - stems are light green, rather thick, about 2 cm in diameter and up to 10 cm long, erect or slightly drooping. The stems have 4 distinct ribs, with sharp teeth. The flowers are large, up to 7cm in diameter. Corolla is star-shaped yellow with purple lines. In the middle, the corolla forms a convex ring, of a bright color - purple (or violet) spots on it practically merge.
- Large-fruited Guernia Huernia macrocarpa - stems branching in the root zone, bluish-green from 5 to 20 cm long, lodging over time. The stems have 7 ribs, the teeth are clearly expressed in the form of a high pyramid up to 6-7 mm long, pointed at the end. The outer crown of the flower is purple-crimson, velvet, with fused petals, forming an almost regular pentagon in shape, up to 2 cm in diameter. This species has a rather large inner crown with pronounced dark burgundy petals. Flowers are single or in inflorescences of 2-5 flowers. There are several variations that differ in the shade of the flower and the shape of the teeth.
- Guernia rough (thorny) Huernia aspera - stems from 10 to 20 cm long, lodging. They have 5 ribs, the teeth are less pronounced than in the previous species, pointed at the end. Flowers are single or in inflorescences of 2-5 pieces. The corolla is star-shaped, the outer crown of the flower is purple-burgundy, rough, the inner crown is made of small rounded brownish-yellow petals.
There are also ampelous species of guernia, for example, Guernia hanging Huernia pendula. Its stems reach a length of about a meter, the stems branch anywhere and at the ends of the shoots too. Stems are rounded, about 8-9 cm in diameter, the ribs are almost invisible, the teeth are small tubercles. It blooms with small, up to 2 cm in diameter, blood-red flowers. On the inflorescence, 2-5 flowers are collected, opening alternately. Corolla fused at the base into a wide tube about 5 mm deep.
Guernia - care and cultivation
Guernia is one of the easiest and most convenient flowers to grow at home. Its advantages are undemanding to the soil, ventilation, it does not need spraying and can grow well without any additional fertilizing, therefore, the most optimal care parameters are given below.
Temperature: moderate in summer, the plant, of course, will not die from extreme heat, but the stems can wrinkle, the flowers wither faster if prolonged heat in the bright sun (as at times in nature) the plant loses its decorative appearance - the lower part of the stems acquires a brownish tint, but the stems dry, the color fades. In winter, guernia is best kept cool, ideally at a temperature of 15-16 ° C, at least 12 ° C. But in the absence of such a room, it will put up with the usual home conditions, if you add light to it - rearrange it on a more sunny windowsill or turn on a lamp.
Lighting: Guernia likes a bright place, with some direct sunlight, grows well on the east, southeast northwest windowsill from February to September. Shading is needed on the south window. In winter, the plant needs the brightest place, full solar lighting, without shading (south window).
Watering: moderate in spring and summer. Remember that guernia is a succulent, its leaves store enough moisture to survive a slight drought. With a cool content in winter, watering is reduced in autumn, in winter it is very rare (about once a month). Guernia tolerates prolonged dryness of the land more easily than excessive watering.
Top dressing: from late spring to mid-summer with complex fertilizer for cacti and other succulents once a month. With an annual transplant into fresh soil, it is enough to feed once a month.
Air humidity: Guernia is resistant to dry air, does not need to be sprayed.
Transfer: annually in the spring. Soil - 1 part of sod land, 1 part of leaf, 1 part of fine gravel (2-4 mm). The pot should be wide, but not deep, a drainage layer is poured on the bottom (foam or coconut shell broken into crumbs. Guernias with long ampel and semi-ampel shoots can be grown in hanging pots. The acidity of the soil is optimal in the range from 7.5 to 8.5 (slightly alkaline), Guernia does not like strongly acidic soils.
This succulent propagates by stem cuttings and seeds. Just cut a segment of any length from the mother plant, put it on a shelf to dry for 1-2 days. During this time, prepare a pot of soil, the soil should be moderately moist, rather dry. Place the cutting directly on the surface of the soil, do not bury. You can press the stem in the pot with a paper clip. We start watering little by little, not under the cutting, but around.
If you bought Guernia seeds, simply sow them in a mixture of universal soil (such as Terra Vita) and coarse sand (sifted from dust), taken in equal parts. It is better to sow in wide, low bowls at a distance of about 3 cm from each other. Sprinkle the seeds with soil about 2 mm. Cover crops with foil or glass, but be sure to ventilate 2-3 times a day. Moisten evenly from a spray bottle, avoiding excess moisture. Seedlings appear within 3-4 weeks. Young guernia seedlings are more demanding on light, as children of any succulents and cacti, so they need to be kept in a well-lit place, but the spring sun is quite hot, if you notice reddening of the stems, you should think about shading. There are no other features in the cultivation of guernia, seedlings grow quickly, but no special feeding or stimulants are required.