Plants photographed on Kyffhäuser
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Cotyledon orbiculata L. var. orbiculata

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Cotyledon orbiculata var orbiculata

Image 1
08 Jul 2006

Cotyledon orbiculata var orbiculata

Image 2
Leaves and flower buds
08 Jul 2006

Cotyledon orbiculata var orbiculata

Image 3
08 Jul 2006

Family: Crassulaceae
Full name: Cotyledon orbiculata L. var. orbiculata
ID status: Fairly certain
Afrikaans common name(s): Hondeoor, Varkoor, Krimpsiektebos, Plakkie, Kooltrie, Kouterie, Plakker, Pêpêbos, Beesbuik
English common name(s): Pig's ear
Synonym(s): Cotyledon engleri A.Berger & Dinter
Cotyledon orbiculata var. engleri (Dinter & A.Berger) Dinter
Adromischus mucronatus (Lam.) Lem.
Cotyledon undulata var. mucronata (Lam.) Poelln.
Cotyledon mucronata Lam. (1786)
Cotyledon decussata Sims
*Cotyledon orbiculata var. ausana (Dinter) H.Jacobsen
Cotyledon ausana Dinter (1932)
Cotyledon orbiculata var. dinteri H.Jacobsen
Cotyledon orbiculata var. oophylla Dinter
*Cotyledon ramosissima auct. sensu Mill., non Haw.
Cotyledon undulata auct. sensu H.Jacobsen, non Haw.
Cotyledon decussata var. dielsii Schltr. ex Poelln.
Cotyledon decussata var. hinrichseniana H.Jacobsen
Cotyledon elata Haw.
*Cotyledon orbiculata var. elata (Haw.) DC.
Cotyledon flanaganii var. karroensis Schönland & Baker f.
Cotyledon orbiculata var. higginsiae H.Jacobsen
Cotyledon orbiculata var. hinrichseniana H.Jacobsen
Cotyledon orbiculata var. obovata DC.
*Cotyledon orbiculata var. ramosa (Haw.) DC.
Cotyledon orbiculata var. rotundifolia DC.
Cotyledon orbiculata var. viridis Dinter ex Range
*Cotyledon ovata Haw. non Mill.
Cotyledon papillaris auct. sensu Haw., non L.f.
Cotyledon papillaris var. tricuspidata (Haw.) DC.
Cotyledon tricuspidata Haw.
Cotyledon ramosa Haw. p.p.
Cotyledon ungulata Lam. (1786)
Status: Native
Description: Small shrubs rarely up to 1.5 m high, more or less branched. Leaves opposite or whorled, obovate to oblanceolate to narrowly linear, (30-)50-140(-160) x 10-50(-90) mm, cuneate, rounded or cuspidate or rarely acute, dorsiventrally flattened and slightly convex on both surfaces to terete, glabrous to hairy, green to grey and often with a red or pale margin. Inflorescence a thyrse with 3-5 dichasia usually with many flowers; peduncle 0.2-0.5(-1) m long, glabrous to hairy. Calyx: lobes broadly to narrowly triangular, 2-5 mm long, acute, glabrous, rarely hairy. Corolla deep red to orange, rarely yellow; tube cylindrical or almost so, 8-30 mm long, often bulging in the middle; glabrous, rarely hairy outside and glabrous inside except for a tuft of hairs where filaments are fused to tube; lobes lanceolate, rarely ovate, recurved or recoiled. Anthers 1.5-2.5 mm long. Squamae transversely oblong to almost square, 0.4-0.9 X 1-1.5 mm, entire or emarginate, fleshy, yellow. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora of Southern Africa)

Leaves opposite, glabrous, powdery and glaucous, roundish-obovate or oblong-obovate, cuneate at base, obtuse, mucronate; peduncles terminal, very long, glabrous, loosely panicled, many flowered; flowers glabrous, tube of the corolla 4–5 times as long as the calyx, 2–2.5 times as long as the limb. Stem robust, branching, bushy. Leaves 2–4 inches long, 1–2.5 inches wide, varying much in shape from oblong to broadly obovate, usually tipped with an abrupt point. Peduncle 2 feet long, ending in a spreading panicle. Tube of the corolla 0.75–1 inch long. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora Capensis)

This succulent plant has thick leaves which may vary from green to grey, often with a red line around the margin. Cotyledon orbiculata has five varieties, based on differences in leaf and flower shape. The variability of leaf size, shape and colour is also influenced by the immediate environment. Selected forms in cultivation have been given names such as 'Elk Horns' or 'Silver Waves'. Flowering time is mostly in winter from June-August, but in the winter rainfall areas such as the Western Cape, it is often in midsummer. The colourful, hanging, tubular/bell-shaped flowers are carried in clusters on the ends of an elongated flower stalk. They are mostly orange-red , but yellow flowering forms are also occasionally found. (from

Inflorescence < 45 cm. (Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Crassulaceae, edited by Urs Eggli)
Link(s) African Plant Database
JSTOR Plant Science
Kew Herbarium Catalogue
BGBM Berlin-Dahlem - Virtual Herbarium
Züricher Herbarien
iNaturalist (Namibia / Alex Dreyer)
iNaturalist (Namibia)
iNaturalist (southern Africa)
Flora of Zimbabwe
Fleurs de notre Terre - Galerie Namibie
Tree Atlas of Namibia
Content last updated: 01 Jun 2020

Note: The identification of some of the plants on this website is not 100% certain. Any comments will be highly appreciated. I would also be willing to supply higher resolution images upon request. Please contact me at the e-mail address given below.

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