“Hear me roar,” we might imagine this succulent to say if it possessed vocal cords.
Fabulously clump-forming and nearly stemless, Faucaria tigrina gets its common name from the thick, soft-teeth-lined, grayish-green leaves that give the appearance of open jaws. Of course, those aren’t the teeth we have in mind when we think of large cats or sharks nor are they akin to the sharp, toothy margins of agave or aloe leaves.
In this Altman Plants video, our tiger jaws whisperer Tom Jesch says this succulent makes a fine houseplant or, in areas without hard freezes, will be right at home in the nooks and crannies of a rock garden. And then there’s the lovely yellow flower, but we won’t spoil Tom’s joke, which should put a pearly white smile on anyone’s face. Well, let’s not oversell it.
The genus Faucaria is part of the family Aizoaceae, which includes the various forms of plants known as ice plants and those known as mimicry plants. F. tigrina prefers a soil with less organic material; extra pumice or perlite provides excellent drainage essential to this and other similar plants. Water thoroughly when the soil is dry to the touch. The plant will not tolerate waterlogged soils. It’s somewhat frost tolerant, but protection is advisable to prevent scarring.