The leaves of Conophytum frutescens deviate in shape from the popular conical and cylindrical shapes common to the genus. The fused leaf pairs are flat, although succulent in the shared basal area of the leaf pair, as can be observed in the photo. Lax branching of the tiny shrublets can be seen from the base of the plant and further up. Long internodes, bits of stem between branching points, occur on these stems. This is a feature that differs from the familiar compact Conophytum structure.
Between the two leaf tips of each fused pair, the dried out remains of flowers from the previous season are visible. Leaf keels and margins are dully purple, contrasting against the turquoise of the leaf surfaces.
This specimen was photographed in April near Komaggas in central Namaqualand, the area where this plant is endemic in a habitat of exposed quartzite slopes. The orange flowers only opening in the middle of the day, are due in midsummer (www.burgersonion.blogspot.com).
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