Plants

Crag cake (Aeonium spathulatum)

The Aeonium spathulatum plant is flat as a plate and also known as Pastel de risco, this plant grows in the lava flows located on the island of Tenerife. The flat rosette is only a few centimeters thick and can be found vertically planted as they occur in nature.

This plant has its origin in the Canary Islands, especially we can find it in Tenerife, being abundant on the north side, coloring the island with yellowish-green circular spots. It is one of the favorite ornamental plants in gardens and is cultivated worldwide, being one of the most attractive plants, since the beauty of its leaves make it very visible to the eye. The plant has a high price due to its exotic appearance.

 characteristics

The plant has a very short stem, dense and dressed with old leaves from the base. A simple, sterile plant rosette, where the rosettes are born and develop horizontally, with stems ranging from 10cm that divide the apex into several rosettes, with a diameter of 15cm to 30cm and with dense and flattened leaves throughout the year..

The leaves are interwoven between 8cm and 15cm long and 4cm wide, wedge shaped and attenuated at the base, being wider near the apex, where they are round with a small ridge between the apex of a faint green color.

The floren have straight stems that arise from the center of the rosette, bushy along the stem.

Its leaves are oval and rhomboid in style to be more exact, they do not branch inside and are sessile.  They are faint yellow, with lower flowers about seven millimeters long. Their shapes range from ovarian segments four millimeters long.

It is a very particular and showy plant within its group, since its plate shape hugs the ground in the best rosette style. Some are slightly different, as not all are shaped like this.

Sometimes it can be seen as if it were a large green turtle, at other times they grow with multiple branches. The leaves are kept in a continuous pattern, achieving a swirling shape and are often seen on rocky walls, places where they grow very well.

This plant is a favorite for garnishing gardens, although it thrives indoors as well.

You can plant it in a small container and you can see it bloom in late spring with its characteristic yellow flowers . Its development can take place from cool temperatures, so in winter you will have to take some precautions and keep it indoors.

Care and cultivation of the Aeonium spathulatum plant

It withstands drought very well, so watering can be carefree every 20 days in the spring, once a month in the fall, and rarely in the winter.

If the plant is grown outdoors, the autumn rains will suffice. The compost should be done for those dates, since with compost and a good supply of fertilizer the plants will remain green during the winter.

You have to take care of it from humidity, as it can easily rot in winter. They are not usually demanding with the quality of the soil but you should keep it well drained if the terrain is sandy or poor in vegetation.

It is necessary that it is under good lighting, receiving direct sunlight in the morning, during the first hours and during the last hours of the afternoon. You should avoid the midday sun as it can cause leaf and foliage burns.

Reproduction and pruning

The plant does not need pruning, you can cut some flowers to give it a better presence, perhaps more compact, that will suffice.

Reproduction can be carried out through the collection of seeds, leaf cuttings and shoots. Those children that the mother plant reproduces during flowering next to the stem are always taken advantage of, although in some cases, this will not be the case.

So you will have to choose to use those leaves that are attached to the main stem, near the flower for its propagation. After the plant blooms, the rosette dies like all of its kind.

The substrate is important, so it must have good drainage so that the plant does not rot. You should resort this time to the special substrates for succulents at a commercial level, get a bit of coarse sand or some similar material.

Medicinal properties

This is an easy plant to grow, whether in pots or gardens located on patios or terraces. It offers medicinal benefits, as it is used to treat burn wounds and with a calming effect on superficial wounds. To achieve this, the leaves must be crushed to remove the extract that will be applied to the affected skin area.

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