Although sometimes known as the pickle cactus, this is not a cactus at all. It just looks a bit like one. A native of the Eastern Cape of South Africa, this cute little plant usually grows at quite high altitude, which make it pretty tolerant of chilly temperatures.
Growing in the wild to a maximum height of 50cm, it has chubby green leaves covered in tiny hairs. They look like little pickles, hence the name. In warm months, small yellow flowers might appear among the leaves (don’t be too disappointed if yours doesn’t bloom. It’s less common indoors).
It’s very easy to look after. It likes a lot of light, but manages in light shade. Its water needs are low, so just top it up lightly when the soil is fully dry. In spring and summer, give it a monthly feed with liquid fertiliser to help it grow (make sure to use fertiliser made for succulents). And delicious as it may look, don’t be tempted to eat it. It’s not toxic, but it won’t taste great.
Did you know?
The botanical name delosperma echinatum means ‘prickly visible seed’. ‘Visible seed’ because its seeds are exposed when it fruits; ‘prickly’ because, well, look at it.