Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Ruschia maxima (Haw.) L.Bolus

Succulent shrub to 1.5m, leaves small, to 5cm long, half-moon shaped and 3-angled, flowers rose-coloured, 2cm across. [Hortus, Flowering Plants of Africa].


Horticultural & Botanical History

The correct botanical name for this plant is unresolved. It was first described as Mesembryanthemum maximum by Haworth in 1795 [Observations on the Genus Mesembryanthemum part 2, p.402/1795], transferred to Astrida as Astridia maxima by Schwantes in 1927 [Z. Sukkulentenk. vol.3, p.16/1927] and to Ruschia as Ruschia maxima by Bolus in 1947 [Flowering Plants of Africa vol.26, t.1013/1947]. Ruschia maxima (Haw.) L.Bolus is the name accepted by the South African National Biodiversity Institute and is used here.

Introduced to Britain in 1787.  [JD].  ‘We are obliged to Mr. William Ross, of the Eden Nursery at Stoke Newington, for the sample of the, till now unfigured, species which has afforded the drawing.  It was introduced from the Cape of Good Hope by Mr. Masson in 1787; and is one of those that are peculiarly shy in producing bloom with us, though marked in the Hortus Kewensis as blossoming from March to December.  The specific title was adopted by Mr. Haworth in allusion to the general size of the plant, not of the flower, which is rather small in proportion.’  [BR f.358/1819].

History at Camden Park

Obtained from the Sydney Botanic Garden, 28th October 1846.  [RBGS AB].



Published Feb 11, 2009 - 03:45 PM | Last updated Feb 12, 2012 - 02:17 PM

Figured are half-moon shaped, fleshy leaves and rose-coloured, daisy-like flowers.  Botanical Register f.358, 1819.

Ruschia maxima (Haw.) L.Bolus | BR f.358/1819 as Mesembryanthemum maximum, the Moon-leaved Fig-marygold | BHL


Family Aizoaceae
Region of origin

South Africa, including Cape Province

  • Mesembryanthemum maximum Haw.
  • Astridia maxima (Haw.) Schwantes


Common Name

Giant mountain vygie

Name in the Camden Park Record

Mesembryanthemum maximum 


Confidence level high