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The genus Faucaria consists of less than a dozen species of small-sized succulent plants, each of which has numerous subspecies; in nature they all develop only in southern Africa.
It is a fairly widespread plant in cultivation in Europe, as it tends to adapt very well to cultivation in apartments, flowering even in non-ideal cultivation conditions.
It produces flat rosettes made of triangular leaves, which develop coupled, starting from the center of a pair of leaves already developed. The name of the genus comes from the Latin fauces = fauci, observing a plant in fact it is immediately clear how this name derives from the fact that the pairs of young leaves, with an elongated triangular shape, often characterized by thin pointed teeth on the outer edge, recall the jaws of a carnivorous animal.
The fleshy and thick leaves have a green or gray-green color, sometimes with white specks on the outer edge, and often small teeth on the outer edge of the young leaves, which tend to flatten as the foliage develops. Over time, the plants can acclimatize, forming several neighboring rosettes, covering all the available space; specimens grown in conditions of strong exposure to direct sunlight often develop pink or reddish colors.
In spring, and sometimes even in autumn, the faucaria produce large flowers similar to daisies, of golden yellow color, sometimes orange; there are species with pure white flowers.
As with many succulents, faucaria originate from arid and very sunny areas; despite this they do not seem to love the warm and bright sun of the long Italian summers, which often causes a strong reddish color on the leaves.For this reason, faucaria are generally cultivated in a very bright and sunny place all year round, avoiding direct sun in summer. To do this it is sufficient to screen the plants in the summer, using a curtain, a fairly thick mesh, or positioning them in a semi-shaded place, away from the sun during the hottest hours of the day. Let us remember that moving a vase from a constantly sunny area to a shady one will change the needs with regard to watering, allowing us to water the plants less often.Faucaria: The Aizoaceae
The genus Faucaria belongs to the Aizoaceae family, it is a succulent plant, almost all originating from southern Africa; the aizoaceae are all plants with particular shapes.
A good part of the species constitutes the group of the so-called living stones: succulent plants with a very similar appearance to small pebbles.
Another good amount of aizoaceae is made up of plants similar to faucaria, consisting of pairs of fleshy leaves, green or gray-green, with large flowers similar to daisies.
To the Aizoaceae also belong all the species that were once gathered in the mesembrianthemacee family, very common ground cover plants for garden cultivation, since they produce profusion flowers in spring; the success of these plants has allowed us to produce numerous cultivars, with flowers of almost every color, from bright to intense fuchsia.
Some of these plants are naturalized throughout the Mediterranean basin, so much so that they are now considered to be plants belonging to the Mediterranean maquis, a typical example is the carpobrotus, a vigorous ground cover plant with large fuchsia flowers; also the Aptenia is now widespread in most of the Mediterranean, and is also cultivated in the garden.