Leonardo Giammanco Nursery

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

Succulent plants have been the passion of Leonardo Giammanco for 50 years, while they have been his main professional occupation for 30 years. in his nursery, which he defines as a very small but super-specialized facility, Leonardo propagates, from seeds and cuttings, South African and African species, mostly belonging to the Aizoaceae (once called Mesembriantemaceae), Apocinaceae, Crassulaceae and Euphorbiacee families, putting them on sale with a wide range of sizes.

However, Leonardo’s favorites are the Aizoaceae (including Conophytum, Frithia, Fenestraria, Gibbaeum, and Lithops), thanks to their exceptional adaptability to harsh climatic conditions (poor soils, droughts, scorching sun, wildlife, etc.).
He’s actually travelled to their very places of origins, namely South Africa and Namibia, to better understand their features and growing behaviour.

Most of those particular species thrive on sunny stony ground, whipped by the sand blown by the wind: in the dry periods, during the summer, they put their vegetative activity on hold and “rest”, while surviving thanks to fog, dew and water condensation.

Their actual life cycle kicks back in winter, with different behaviours dictated by the local climate. Some plants start to vegetate again and then bloom as early as the end of August, others wait until October or even January. They bloom until spring and, unlike other succulent plants, feature very short blooms – some Aizoaceae varieties may keep on blooming for over twenty days.
Nonetheless, their flowers stay open only for a few hours a day, in order to favour pollination and save “energy”. The seeds are enclosed in capsules, hermetically closed when the climate gets too dry: when there’s enough humidity, those cocoons open up and seeds can get scattered all around.

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)


Modica (Ragusa)(RG)

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