Scientific nameCotyledon orbiculata is an extremely variable species that grows to approximately 1.3 m in height. It has gray-green leaves that can be up to 13 by 7 cm with a white powdery substance on them that helps reflect sunlight and conserve water. The shape of the leaves was thought to have a resemblance to a pig's ear, thus the common name. The bell-shaped flowers are small, usually less than 3 cm in length, and droop from the top of a 60 cm tall stalk. The flowers are usually orange-red but yellow varieties also exist.
Plants may be grown from seed, but take care in the early stages not to over-water. The best time to sow the seed is in spring, and they should be kept moist, not waterlogged. Once the seedlings have reached 20-40 mm they can be transplanted.
Taking tip cuttings is the fastest method of increasing plant numbers; they must be kept fairly dry to prevent rotting. Once the tip cuttings have rooted they can be transplanted in a medium of 2 parts gravel to 1 part compost.
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This table below shows how many plants we are trying to obtain for this species.
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We are in need of this species! Can you help? Maybe you have this species at home, or perhaps you can collect seeds or cuttings (if applicable) from friends or from a public space. If so, why don't you help establish this species in areas where it is much needed!
This species was selected because it has various important characteristics.
This is a bird-friendly species
It provides medicinal value
Easy to grow
Suitable for clay soil
Suitable for sandy soil
It provides food for:
Southern double-collared sunbird
Cotyledon orbiculata is indigenous to: Cape Flats Dune Strandveld