Small Wonders: Ellaphieae’s Gasteria and Bonfire Moss

By Published On: March 18th, 20241.1 min readCategories: Photos
A gasteria succulent growing in a pot alongside bonfire moss

Unlikely roommates: Gasteria ellaphie and Funaria hygrometrica

We’ve had quite a bit of rain followed by cool temperatures to close out the winter here is San Diego County. That extended damp has given things that normally don’t grow here a chance to pop up and look around.

For example, this is a Gasteria ellaphieae sitting in the shade near the “Alien Eggs” (Haworthia cooperi) I shared a short while back.

It looks rather splendid on its own, but the weather has allowed a little colony of Bonfire Moss (Funaria hygrometrica) to pop up and share a bit of the pot with the gasteria.

Normal conditions in this Zone 9 sub-desert are usually way too dry for moss to grow, but this one seems to be doing quite well on its own.

A closeup of bonfire moss growing in a pot

A closer look at the bonfire moss

Where it came from, I have no idea. The gasteria has lived in this pot in this location for at least two years, so I don’t think the moss has been dormant, waiting for conditions to become like a temperate rain forest.

Proof that small wonders can be as delightful as the big ones when given a chance.

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About the Author

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Sage Osterfeld
I’m just a guy with nearly an acre of dirt, a nice little mid-century ranch house and a near-perfect climate. But in my mind I’m a landscaper survivalist craftsman chef naturalist with a barbeque the size of a VW and my own cable TV show. I like to write about the stuff I build, grow and see here at Sage's Acre.

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