Orostachys boehmeri (Chinese Dunce Cap)

Scientific Name

Orostachys boehmeri (Makino) Hara

Common Names

Dunce's Cap, Chinese Dunce Cap


Orostachys iwarenge var. boehmeri

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Sedoideae
Tribe: Sedeae
Subtribe: Umbilicinae
Genus: Orostachys


Orostachys boehmeri is an attractive small succulent that forms open rosettes of soft, lavender-gray leaves. The rosettes grow up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter and offset readily, producing small plantlets on thin spaghetti-like stems that radiate up to 6 inches (15 cm) away from the mature rosettes to form a clump up to 1 foot (30 cm) in diameter. After several years, in fall, the rosettes produce tiny, pale yellow flowers with greenish bracts on up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall spikes. The flowering rosettes die after flowering but are quickly replaced by offsetting ones.


USDA hardiness zone 6a to 10b: from −10 °F (−23.3 °C) to 40 °F (+4.4 °C).

How to Grow and Care

As with most similar genera of the Crassulaceae family, this plant can survive in fairly poor soil, so long as it is well-draining. This genera is very cold-hardy and can survive temperatures to -30 °F (-34 °C). Allow soil to dry to the touch between waterings and avoid getting water on the rosettes. Orostachys actively in spring and summer. It requires some bright light and does not tolerate high humidity well.

Orostachys self-propagates through offshoots, and at a given time, one plant will form a dense mat of many. Propagation is primarily through offset separation.

To separate an offset, remove soil from the offset's base to find the stolon (thick root which attaches the pup to the mother plant). It is best to use an offset that has already established some roots of its own. Cut the stolon close to the pup (to discourage roots growing from the stolon). Place the offset into a small pot with well-draining, sandy soil. Do not water until new growth is noted.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Orostachys.


Orostachys boehmeri is native to Japan.


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