Kind of like a sunrise, or glittering jewels, this adorable little succulent lights up any nook or dish garden with a ravishing mix of pink, green, and creamy ivory or yellow. We’re pretty sure it’s not the sunrise the Eagles first sang about in 1973. Anyway, Anacampseros telephiastrum variegata, aka Anacampseros telephiastrum ‘Variegata’, aka Anacampseros ‘Sunrise’, makes a fine container specimen, clustering over time to form a dense mat and maybe, just maybe, trail over the edge. This slow-grower may also form, again with time, a caudex at its base. The pink flowers arrive in summer, waiting until afternoon to come out and closing back up around sunset. Contrasting against the foliage are filament-like white hairs.
The plant requires porous soil that drains quickly and it should be protected from frost. Unless you are in a temperate coastal or coastal-adjacent location, it’s probably best to keep this one in a dish garden or well-protected nook or cranny. Speaking of dish gardens, we have some choice pairing recs for any planter glittering with sunrise’s brilliant lanceolate leaves. There are several green or greenish echeverias that should pair well, varieties such as Echeveria ‘Lime n’ Chile’, E. ‘Cris’, E. ‘Haagaena’, E. ‘Irish Mint’…you get the idea. Sunrise with Senecio radicans (string of bananas) or Senecio rowleyanus (string of pearls) looks absolutely bonkers, in the best possible way.
Getting back on the Echeveria train, but not the green car, we also recommend E. ‘Chroma’ (those rose-pink hues would get along swimmingly) and E. ‘Black Prince’ (darker the better). Or pair it with something sporting a darker shade/hint of pink or red, like Gymnocalycium mihanovichii var. friedrichii. A black or dark burgundy aeonium amid a sea of sunrise would seem guaranteed to be a fabulous sight.
In the video below, our very own succulent whisperer Tom Jesch talks about this Anacampseros beauty’s variegated charms.