Great Karoo Ox-Tongue

Gasteria disticha

Ox Tongue, Oukossie, Grootkaroo-Beestong, Beestong (Afr.)

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Unusual succulent species with stemless, mottled green, strap-shaped leaves often arranged in opposite pairs. Gasterias are grouped together because of their similar flowers. These are bicoloured pink and green and shaped like bells, hanging from an unbranched infolorescence. This genus is closely related to the genera Aloe and Haworthiopsis. Gasteria flowers are edible, this is a water-wise plant that is excellent for planting in pots. ZA Distribution: Western Cape.
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Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Spring

Fruiting time

Summer, Winter

Harvesting

Pick flowers fresh and nibble.

Propagation

Seed

Sow seed in Winter. Germination time - 2-3 weeks. use a well-draining sandy soil mixture.

Cuttings

Tear leafs off the plant and place in dry enviroment to heal (like a windowsil) . Place in well-draining sand mix to root.

Division

Divide clusters of plants and replant as single plants.

Special features

Pot plant

Good container plants, place in semi-shaded position and ensure good drainage for best results. May also be grown inside as a houseplant, but requires good levels of sunlight.

Drought resistant

Succulent leaves serve as water storage organs.

Attractive flowers

Edible flowers with pedulate stems(Aloe flower stems are upright!)

Attracts birds

Special features

Origin

South Africa, Western and Northern Cape, Beaufort-Wes to Robertson

Natural climate

Mediterranean and semi-arid

Environment

Light

Full Sun, Full Shade, Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Dry

Soil type

Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Neutral, Acid

Frost hardiness

Tender

Uses

Edible

Flowers are edible

Notes

Windbreaks and hedges for gardens.

Personality

Family

Asphodelaceae

Flower colour

Pink, Orange, Green

Scent

None

Problems

Problem free if not overwatered.

Companion plants

Salvia, Helichrysum

Credits

profile iconGasteria disticha
by Ernst van Jaarsveld, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, July 2012 (Copyright South African National Biodiversity Institute, South Africa)
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Knowledge and advice

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