Avonia papyracea


Avonia papyracea is a strange dwarf succulent from South Africa known for its paper-like scales that make it look like a molting snake. It grows on the desert floor in its natural habitat, blending into the surrounding quartzite gravel. A slow and temperamental grower, Avonia papyracea will reward the attentive owner with dense, clustered growth and creamy white flowers that open only for a few hours at the hottest part of the day.

Please note: Every plant will vary in size, color and shape from the one pictured. Plant ships bare root. Soil included according to plant size.

South Africa


Avonia papyracea does best in full sun, 4 to 5 hours a day, with some partial, filtered light at the peak hours of the day. Its paper scales do protect it from the harshest rays, but a sheer curtain will be beneficial as extra help on hot summer days. Grow outdoors in filtered light or indoors in a sunny window with southern exposure.


Avonia papyracea are drought tolerant plants that store a lot of water in their thick leaves and bulbous roots. Water when the soil dries out in the summer and only infrequently during the winter. Their soil should always be allowed to dry out entirely before watering thoroughly.

Tula's Tip

Avonia papyracea can be propagated from stem cuttings. Take great care when cutting these plants as they contain a sap that can be highly irritant if contacted with skin. Allow cuttings to callous for several days before dusting with rooting hormone and placing in soil. Fertilize: These plants do not require fertilizer though it can be added to give container grown plants a boost or to supplement poor soil. Apply a water-soluble, balanced fertilizer monthly, diluted at half strength.


Approx. 2" tall and 2" wide. Every plant will vary in size, color and shape. 


Delivery Method

Nationwide shipping, NYC delivery and pickup available. Delivered Bare root