Titanopsis schwantesii

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Scientific Name

Titanopsis schwantesii (Dinter ex Schwantes) Schwantes

Scientific Classification

Family: Aizoaceae
Subfamily: Ruschioideae
Genus: Titanopsis


Titanopsis schwantesii is a mat-forming succulent with small, rock-like rosettes that grow up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. Leaves are with rounded ends and densely covered with white, grey, or yellowish-brown, warty tubercles. Flowers are pale yellow and up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) in diameter.


USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

Photo via cactuscooley.com

How to Grow and Care

Titanopsis are easy to grow and clumps readily, forming a beautiful succulent mat. The clumps can be divided for further propagation of the plant. These plants need moderate water when growing in late fall and early spring. Keep somewhat dry the rest of the time.

The maintenance of these attractive succulents is not difficult. They need a sandy substrate with little organic material. Titanopsis are winter growers and should be kept relatively dry in summer. These plants should also be kept dry when the temperature is below 45 °F (7 °C).

The best place to grow Titanopsis is a sunny spot where it gets bright sunlight in summer and direct exposure to the sun in winter.

Division of larger clumps is possible in some cases, but as most species have tuberous rootstocks and offset slowly, seed production is the most common propagation method. Sow it in spring, and it should start flowering after two years.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Titanopsis.


Titanopsis schwantesii is native to southern Namibia.


  • Titanopsis luederitzii


  • Back to genus Titanopsis
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Mesemb, Titanopsis


Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater

Sun Exposure:


Foliage Color:




USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual


Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

From seed winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed sow indoors before last frost

From seed direct sow after last frost

From seed germinate in a damp paper towel

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant break open to collect seeds

Allow seedheads to dry on plants remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Titanopsis schwantesii - garden

Origin and Habitat: Southern Namibia.
Habit:The delicate, frosted wafers of Titanopsis schwantesii grows thickly nestled into pebbles and gravel which this Titanopsis resembles to an unbelievable degree, this camouflage allows them to escape detection and is a very effective strategy for escaping predation. It comes from winter rainfall areas but will easily adapt to a summer watering regime and is probably the most common among these plants.

  • Titanopsis schwantesii (Dinter ex Schwantes) Schwantes
    • Mesembryanthemum concinnum N.E.Br.
    • Mesembryanthemum schwantesii Dinter ex Schwantes
    • Verrucifera schwantesii (Dinter ex Schwantes) N.E.Br.

Description: Titanopsis schwantesii is a plant of unique appearance which look very rock-like in habitat. The leaves grow in small rosettes and their tips are densely covered with white warty tubercles. The flowers are yellow in spring.
Habit: It is a mat forming succulent with clusters of basal rosettes.
Similar species: It is similar to Titanopsis calcarea , which is more a summer grower with flatter leaf tips and flatter rosettes. T. schwantesii has more erect leaves and smaller frosted warts on the somewhat rounding tips. Crassula ausensis subsp. titanopsis, was named for its resemblance to Titanopsis schwantesii growing in the same habitat.
Stem: Very short with internodes not visible.
Rosettes: up to 5(-7) cm wide, usually with 6-8 (or more) crowded opposite leaves.
Leaves: Short, fleshy, spathulate, with rounded ends up to 3 cm long and 3-7 mm broad toward the base and up to 12 mm broad above, mostly chunky white or grey. Upper and lower surface covered with greysh-white, yellowish, flesh-coloured, greyish-brown regular or yellowish-brown flat warts. (Leaves of Titanopsis calcarea are considerably larger, flatter with a more spoon-shaped apex and a mix of large and small warts). Old leaves will die off very slowly.
Flowers: Solitary, stalked, with usual mesemb ‘daisy’ form, 15-18 mm in diameter, pale canary yellow ( with flesh coloured tips in Titanopsis primosii ). Petals numerous in two whorls. Sepals 5(-6) with tubercles like those on the leaves and with membranous margin. Stigmas 5-6.
Blooming season: Titanopsis luderitzii flowers in the afternoon in early spring.
Fruit: Capsules 5-6-chamberd.

Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Titanopsis schwantesii group

  • Titanopsis luderitzii" href='/Encyclopedia/SUCCULENTS/Family/Aizoaceae/13461/Titanopsis_luderitzii'> Titanopsis luderitzii Tischer : It distinguishes for the leaves that are dark yellowish green with brownish colouring. Distribution: Southern Namibia.
  • Titanopsis primosii" href='/Encyclopedia/SUCCULENTS/Family/Aizoaceae/13463/Titanopsis_primosii'> Titanopsis primosii L. Bolus : distinguishes for the upper surface with chunky white, grey or flesh-coloured regular warts. Flowers yellow with flesh coloured tips, occasiaonally orangish or pinkish. Distribution: Southern Namibia.
  • Titanopsis schwantesii" href='/Encyclopedia/SUCCULENTS/Family/Aizoaceae/13458/Titanopsis_schwantesii'> Titanopsis schwantesii (Dinter ex Schwantes) Schwantes : grows in small rock-like rosettes. Leaves spathulate, with rounded ends densely covered with white, grey or yellowish-brown warty tubercles. Flowers pale yellow. Distribution: Southern Namibia.

Notes: The Genus Titanopsis comprises three to six species, depending on botanists' opinions. Some botanists have now lumped Titanopsis lüderitzii and Titanopsis primosii in with Titanopsis schwantesii.
The species list for Titanopsis is considered to be Titanopsis calcarea, Titanopsis fulleri ( = calcarea ), Titanopsis hugo-schlecteri, Titanopsis lüderitzii ( = schwantesii ), Titanopsis primosii ( = schwantesii ), Titanopsis schwantesii

Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Heidrun E. K. Hartmann “Aizoaceae F – Z” Springer, 2002
2) James Cullen, Sabina G. Knees, H. Suzanne Cubey “The European Garden Flora Flowering Plants: A Manual for the Identification of Plants Cultivated in Europe, Both Out-of-Doors and Under Glass - Casuarinaceae to Aristolochiaceae” Cambridge University Press, 11/ago/2011
3) Hermann Jacobsen, Vera Higgins “Succulent Plants: Description, Cultivation and Uses of Succulent Plants, Other Than Cacti” Williams and Norgate, Limited, 1935
4) Jacobsen. “Handbook of succulent plants” 1328 (1960)
5) H. Herre “The genera of the Mesembryanthemaceae” Tafelberg-Uitgewers Beperk, 1971
6) Montague Free, Marjorie J. Dietz "All About House Plants: Their Selection, Culture, and Propagation and How to Use Them for Decorative Effect" Doubleday, 01/gen/1979

Titanopsis schwantesii Photo by: Valentino Vallicelli
Titanopsis schwantesii Photo by: Valentino Vallicelli
SB2156 (Collector: Steven Brack) Locality: Onverwacht, Grabwasser, Namibia. Photo by: Valentino Vallicelli
Titanopsis schwantesii Photo by: Valentino Vallicelli

The genus has a disjunct distribution, occurring in three separate areas of southern Africa: southern Namibia, the region around the south-eastern border of Namibia and a larger area spanning between the former Cape Province and Orange Free State in South Africa. This unusual distribution means that the different Titanopsis species live in different rainfall systems - either summer or winter rainfall depending on the species. [1]

They are small plants, with rosette up to 10 cm high.

Leaves are up to 3 cm with truncate tip and rough warty little tubercles at the apex of the leaves. They look like limestone and are hard to see in the wild.

Yellow flowers with 2 cm diameter appear in late fall.

Image Scientific name Distribution
Titanopsis calcarea (Marloth) Schwantes South Africa
Titanopsis hugo-schlechteri (Tischer [es] ) Dinter & Schwantes Namibia & South Africa
Titanopsis primosii L.Bolus ex S.A.Hammer South Africa
Titanopsis schwantesii (Dinter ex Schwantes) Schwantes Namibia & South Africa

Cultivation is easy with full sun, very well-drained soil, and attention to the natural rainfall of the particular species' habitat.

The more popular species from the eastern areas, such as Titanopsis calcarea, fulleri and luederitzii are adapted to summer rainfall, while those from further west, rarer species such as Titanopsis schwantesii and hugo-schlecteri, are adapted to winter rainfall, when they also flower.

The plants are calcicole (=they appreciate calcareous soils), but any typical loose succulent soil mix is suitable. Division of larger clumps is possible in some cases, but as most species have tuberous rootstocks and offset slowly, seed production is the most common method of propagation.

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