Caught at the right moment, the mound of a mature Conophytum truncatum subsp. truncatum plant may resemble a weirdly decorated surprise for a children’s party, provided by a confectioner with imagination and lots of white icing. Maybe it is a birthday party, the number of candles or flowers right for the age of the lucky recipient of presents from all.
Old leaf skins turned white, serving as sunblock, hover over the newly grown leaves still vulnerable to the harsh living conditions. The fused, cone-shaped leaf-pairs flower through a slit left open in their circular tops. The new season’s leaf-pair arrives by the same route, accepting the dry skin or papery husk of its predecessor as cloak until ready for independence (Smith, et al, 1998).