Sarcocaulon, more recently called Monsonia. Include a shrubby, semi-succulent or even woody habit, and a thick, waxy bark which, in some species, endures in skeletal form long after the plant has died. It is inflammable and has earned these plants their common name of " Bushman' s candels " .

sarcocaulon patersonisarcocaulon patersoni flower sarcocaulon patersoni habitat
sarcocaulon patersonii

Members of the genus Sarcocaulon are spiny, fleshy shrublets with delicate white, yellow, salmon - pink or pink petals ( flowers) . 15 species of Sarcocaulon supremely adapted to conditions of drought. The geographical range of Bushman Candels extends over the more arid parts of the west and south of Southern Africa. Sarcocaulon is a genus of the family Geraniaceae, succulent, spiny shrublets with short stems, branching just above soil level.

sarcocaulon multifidum in habitat
sarcocaulon multifidum

The average annual rainfall at places where they are found seldon exceeds 250 mm. These plants invariably grow in full sun, often exposed to severe winds. Some species prefer sandy flats, while others grow best in rocky places, but good drainage is the most important environmental factor where they are found. They are extreme xerophytic and intolerant of prolonged wet conditions.

sarcocaulon peniculinum

Sarcocaulon peniculinum is the most notable species among the Bushman Candels. The flowers range in color from pure white magenta but a lovely, vivid, salmon -red colouration is prevalent.
In habitat they grow on very steep slopes south or south- east facing, generally oriented east and cut by numerous steep- sided torrent beds.

sarcocaulon herreisarcocaulon crassicaule sarcocaulon multifidum
sarcocaulon herrei
sarcocaulon crassicaule
sarcocaulon multifidum

Bushman Candle species are best cultivated in a well- drained gravelly or sandy mixture consisting of a third coarse sand or fine gravel, a third ordinary soil and a third silt. They are always grow best in positions wich receivelong periods of strong sunlight. They should be watered about once every 6 to 10 days during the period when they are in active groth and producing leaves. As soon as the foliage starts to show signs of yellowing or witheing, water should be withheld. It is very that there is plenty of free air circulation around cultivated plants and also that they are not overwatered.

photo sarcocaulon inerme
sarcocaulon inermis

Sarcocaulon inermis is also one of the most interesting species of the genus. It forms low shrubs, reaching some 30 cm in height and 40 cm in diameter. They hard, thick bark is grey, and the petals flower are usually a clear rose pink. They grow mostly on the valley floor where the ground is more water retentive after rainfall than the surronding hills. Plants come into leaf within a few days after any significant shower of rain. The rain average in the area is about 50 mm per annum, fall mainly in the cool, wintermonths, although thunderstorms do occur locally during the sumer.

sarcocaulon inermesarcocaulon salmoniflora sarcocaulon spinosa
sarcocaulon inermis
sarcocaulon salmoniflora
sarcocaulon spinosa

All sarcocaulon species are readily grown from seeds. Large deep trays or plastic pots are the best for sowing to accommodate the extensive root developemen that takes place in the case of most species. The most dangerous period for seedling plants from strictly winter rainfall regions is in summer. they need to be kept dry whilst dormant but at the same time their trunk do not always withstand continual drought.
The best results with cultivated plants are nearly alwaysfrom those thar have been grown from seed. The seedlings adapt to the climate where they are grown and develop a vigorous root system.