Faucaria Tuberculosa: Warty, Pebbled Tiger Jaws

Succulents have a large morphologic variability. Only one genus can have a whole lot of species with their very own bodily distinctions. Amongst these is the Faucaria genus, which comprises a curious little succulent that’s not like something you’ve seen earlier than. A very distinctive plant, Faucaria tuberculosa, seems prefer it stepped out of a horror film and into your backyard!

Nicknamed “tiger jaws,” Faucaria tuberculosa grows rosettes that appear to be jaws open large. One clump of this plant seems to be a horde of hungry inexperienced monsters. What actually makes this succulent monstrous is its distinctive texture. The higher floor of every leaf is densely lined with white tubercles, that are laborious, wart-like bumps. The sides of the leaves are additionally lined with delicate white buildings that appear to be menacing enamel. 

Regardless of its sinister look, tiger jaws is commonly described as a good-looking plant. It has beautiful coloring and a satisfyingly compact type. Plus, it grows lovely, daisy-like flowers (the yellow flowers open throughout the day and shut within the late afternoon). This perennial succulent is native to Cape Province, South Africa, however it may simply be grown amongst your own home crops or out door floor covers.

Like many cultivated specimens from heat climates, Faucaria tuberculosa is choosy about its rising places. Whereas it may deal with some gentle frost within the winter, it’s happiest in zones 9/11. If the climate will get too sizzling, it’ll put a halt on the rising season. To not fear – we’re right here to share every little thing we learn about rising this monstrous succulent!

Fast Care Information

Faucaria tuberculosa in bloom. Supply: Reggie1
Widespread Identify Shark’s jaws, knobby tiger jaws, pebbled tiger jaws, tiger jaws, warty tiger jaws
Scientific Identify Faucaria felina subsp. Tuberculosa, Faucaria tuberculosa
Household Aizoaceae
Top & Unfold 6 inches tall, 10-12 inches unfold
Gentle Full solar
Soil Properly-draining
Water Soak and dry
Pests & Illnesses Mealybugs, rot

All About Faucaria Tuberculosa

Pebbled tiger jaws
Pebbled tiger jaws lives as much as its identify. Supply: LeveL6

We’ve labeled Faucaria tuberculosa as a result of that’s probably the most commonly-used scientific identify. However that identify is outdated. The plant continues to be within the tribe Ruschieae, genus Faucaria. However since 1999, the accepted scientific identify is Faucaria felina subsp. tuberculosa. It was modified to a subspecies as a result of it may naturally interbreed with different Faucaria felina subspecies native to Cape Province. There are a number of well-known cultivars of this plant, the most well-liked being ‘Tremendous Warty’.

The names don’t find yourself mattering a lot as a result of in quite a few nursery shops, this plant is wrongly labeled as Faucaria tigrina (that is the case with the massive majority of Faucaria species). The lazy labeling isn’t an excessive amount of of an issue as a result of these crops have a large morphologic variability and are a number of the best species to establish (so long as you realize what to search for!).

Faucaria is a really variable taxon that features 33 species and often hybrids. Many Faucarias type giant tubercles, appear to be open jaw, and are additionally native to Cape Provine. It’s no shock then that Faucaria tuberculosa isn’t the one plant to be nicknamed “tiger jaws.” Nonetheless, a detailed have a look at the plant’s traits will assist you realize if the pebbled tiger jaws you’re holding is a real Faucaria felina subsp. Tuberculosa.

These cultivated crops have reverse pairs of inch-long, triangular leaves which can be thick with water storage. The higher leaf floor is roofed in delicate white buildings (tubercles) and lined with delicate white “enamel.” The generally purple leaves are a low-growing clump, forming a stacked rosette. From the middle of every rosette grows a daisy-like flower with round 200 skinny petals. The yellow flowers open in full solar and shut up within the late afternoon.

One Faucaria felina rosette will produce offsets, leading to bushy outward development. This development goes from spring to fall, although the plant might decelerate within the warmth of summer season. Throughout that point, when it’s uncovered to vibrant gentle, the higher leaf floor, edges, tubercles, and even the delicate white enamel will tinge purple.

Blooming time for mature, wholesome crops is within the fall. Underneath the proper situations, the flowers can final so long as early spring. When the petals die again, they reveal an oddly easy, bell-shaped fruit within the middle of every rosette. This fruit opens as much as launch seeds however solely does a certain quantity at a time. That approach, if quite a few seeds fall upon a harsh habitat, extra seeds can be found to exchange earlier releases.


F tuberculosa after blooming
After the flower fades, F. tuberculosa nonetheless seems attention-grabbing. Supply: carnwrite

Faucaria tuberculosa might look and develop completely different than different Faucarias with its white tubercles, however its care necessities are usually the identical. We’ll define every little thing you must learn about protecting wholesome tiger jaws (or considered one of its kinfolk).

Solar and Temperature

Faucaria tuberculosa is used within the very dry, heat areas of Cape Province, South Africa. To imitate its pure habitats, place it in full solar exterior or a south-facing window indoors. Despite the fact that it likes the solar, your pebbled tiger jaws will be broken in excessive warmth, so chances are you’ll want to supply some gentle shade in the summertime. 

For those who give your succulent some shade, accomplish that sparingly. Pebbled tiger jaws may be very vulnerable to etiolation, which on cultivated crops exhibits it doesn’t get sufficient gentle. If the leaves begin to look leggy, shortly transfer the plant into extra direct gentle.

Faucaria felina subsp. tuberculosa is among the hardier succulents on the market. It will possibly deal with some gentle frost, so long as the temperature doesn’t dip under 23°F. In cool temperatures like that, make certain your tiger jaws is as dry as attainable. For those who reside someplace colder than hardiness zone 9, preserve your Faucaria tuberculosa indoors.

Water and Humidity

A typical succulent, Faucaria tuberculosa shops water with a purpose to survive lengthy dry seasons. Even in truthful climate, they don’t like an excessive amount of moisture. We mimic this by ready for the soil to fully dry out earlier than watering. Moisture meters are actually useful right here, or you’ll be able to merely test the primary few inches of the higher floor.

Within the winter months, drastically reduce on watering. In case your Faucaria tuberculosa will get moist and chilly, it may freeze and die. It is best to solely water it if the leaves begin to shrivel up. Indoor crops saved below the identical situations year-round ought to be watered constantly.

Ideally, you need to water out of doors succulents within the morning. Then, they’ll have loads of moisture within the warmth of the day and dry out earlier than the temperature goes down within the late afternoon. An excessive amount of humidity across the soil in a single day could make your knobby tiger jaws colder than obligatory. Browning and mushy leaf matter on cultivated crops exhibits there’s an excessive amount of water current.


Warty tiger jaws
The bumps of warty tiger jaws up shut. Supply: wallygrom

Faucaria tuberculosa is tolerant of many soil varieties, so long as they drain nicely. We advocate a well-drained soil combine that’s meant for succulents and cacti. You can even combine your personal by including perlite or vermiculite to common potting soil.

Fertilizing Tiger Jaws

Pebbled tiger jaws may appear high-maintenance with their white, tough tubercles and dramatic form, nevertheless it doesn’t ask for a lot in terms of vitamins. You solely must fertilize this plant every year throughout the rising season. Use a balanced liquid fertilizer that’s diluted to half-strength.

Pruning Shark’s Jaws

Fortunate for you, Faucaria sp. hardly ever should be pruned. Leaves solely should be eliminated in the event that they’re diseased or rotting. For those who don’t need your Faucaria felina to unfold seeds, you’ll be able to clip off the daisy-like flowers proper earlier than they fade.

If the higher floor of your plant’s leaves grows some funky tubercles or varieties a bizarre form, you’ll be able to carry out some beauty surgical procedure on it. Merely take away the undesirable leaves from the bottom along with your hand or a clear knife.

Faucaria Tuberculosa Propagation

In contrast to most Faucarias, tiger jaws doesn’t root nicely from cuttings. In its homeland of Cape Province, South Africa, Faucaria felina propagates by means of seeds and offsets. When your plant is mature sufficient, you’ll be able to simply make extra with these identical strategies.

Faucaria tuberculosa produces offset pairs rising aspect by aspect with dad or mum crops, which ultimately develop their very own root methods. You may lower them off of the principle succulent and plant them in their very own container of well-drained soil. There, the offsets will develop into full crops themselves, fully impartial. The species within the Faucaria genus that develop offsets will also be propagated this fashion.

You probably have the time, seeds are a enjoyable technique to develop tiger jaws crops. If you have already got a flowering plant, you’ll be able to harvest a number of seeds when the fruit matures in its valve-closed capsule. Sow them in well-draining soil and preserve them moist and heat. For those who’re planting them immediately exterior, accomplish that throughout their early germination interval within the spring. These seeds germinate in about 1-2 weeks. The primary reverse pairs of leaves to sprout up might have a easy leaf floor. Because the plant grows some white tubercles and enamel will present up.


Faucaria tuberculosa
Faucaria tuberculosa with flower buds unopened. Supply: Erick Lux

Rising succulents is normally a very simple enterprise. Shark jaws shouldn’t be an exception, however that’s no purpose to get careless. It is best to at all times be looking out for potential issues, akin to the next.

Rising Issues

It’s enjoyable to place Faucaria tuberculosa crops in full solar to see their red-tipped leaves. Sadly, an excessive amount of gentle can sunburn the higher floor of the leaves and trigger irregular tubercles. This could scar the plant tissue and trigger water loss. Defend your succulents by giving them some gentle shade throughout the hottest a part of the day.

It’s a must to discover the proper steadiness with shade and your succulent. Faucaria tuberculosa etiolates simply when it doesn’t get sufficient gentle. Stretching out like which will trigger the plant to fall over and decay towards the bottom. As soon as etiolated, you’ll be able to’t make the plant compact once more, so watch rigorously for stretching leaves.


Mealybugs are prime pests you may discover in your Faucaria tuberculosa. They’ll suck the juice from succulent leaves and white tubercles, leaving the plant discolored and stunted. Additionally they go away behind a nasty honeydew that pulls ants. Useful bugs akin to ladybugs and lacewings are a good way to manage mealybugs naturally. You can even use insecticidal soaps or neem oil to eradicate these pests.


Faucaria tuberculosa doesn’t normally encounter any ailments. You’re probably to come back throughout root rot on this plant, however even that doesn’t occur typically. The rot is normally brought on by overwatering or an excessive amount of humidity, so a easy change in care will stop and cease it. Rotted sections of the succulent ought to be eliminated. If allowed to proceed rotting, your Faucaria felina will turn out to be far more weak to ailments probably rooted within the soil.

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