Rhinephyllum is a genus of about a dozen dwarf mesembs (Aizoaceae) named for the rough tuberculate leaf surfaces (from Greek rhin — file, plus phyllum — leaf). These raised tubercles are composed of a thick layer of calcium oxalate crystals to deter would-be herbivores with an overlay of wax that contributes to their whitish appearance. The leaves of R. pillansii are extremely succulent and resemble frog’s toes, being expanded at the tip, flattened on top, rounded below, with a slight keel and margins near the apex. The flowers are pom-poms of yellow to about 2 cm across. We offer plants grown from seed collected by Steven Hammer and Jan Vlok at Vredendal Farm near Beaufort West, W. Cape, South Africa. HBG 128483, $7.
Photo © 2017 by Karen Zimmerman. Images may not be used elsewhere without permission.