I came across the Orostachys genre of plants a couple of years ago when I was starting my collection of succulents. Orostachys has 14 accepted species and are mostly found in China, Mongolia, Japan, Korea, Russia and Kazakhstan. The one that jumped out at me was Orostachys Spinosa.
It is a biennial herb that is Moncarpic so it produces babiest through offsets before it flowers and dies. It produces grey green leaves which form a rosette. It forms a symmetrical spinning pattern. It is similar to a Sempervivum but each leaf has a spike on the end.
In late summer it produces a small central flower spike which is sometimes know as death bloom. The flowers are small and yellow. The spike is about 12 inches tall.
These plants are one of the most cold tolerant succulents that you can get and can survive up to -30 degrees C. Like most Succulents it does not like to have wet roots so needs to grow in a gritty well drained poor soil. In winter the plant goes dormant and the leaves turn grey. The plants starts to kick back to life in the middle of February in the UK. There transformation it undertakes is fast and it seems to go through many changes. Below is a timeline in pictures of how the plant changes
The centre of the plant reminds me of the teeth of a parasitic worm or the Sarlacc in the Great Pit if Cardoon (Return of the Jedi sorry geek overload).
This plant is very easy to grow but you must make sure it stays as dry as possible in the winter. I recommend this as a starter Succulent. However it is not easy to get it in the UK. I have bought it on EBay and Amazon.
That’ is all for now. I will post another blog when the plants start to flower.