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Cotyledon papillaris


Scientific Name

Cotyledon papillaris L.f.


Cacalia papillaris, Cotyledon acaulon, Cotyledon cuneata, Cotyledon glandulosa, Cotyledon glutinosa, Cotyledon gracilis, Cotyledon jacobseniana, Cotyledon meyeri, Cotyledon pseudogracilis, Cotyledon teretifolia, Kleinia papillaris, Tylecodon papillaris, Cotyledon 'Choco Line'

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Sedoideae
Genus: Cotyledon


Cotyledon papillaris is a small, decumbent to procumbent, spreading, succulent shrublet, up to 4 inches (10 cm) tall, with branches often rooting when touching the soil. It is a very variable species with many forms existing. The leaves are erect, yellowish-green to glaucous, up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) long and up to 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) wide. The flowers are small, bell-shaped, yellowish to orange-red and droop from the top of up to 10 inches (25 cm) tall stalk from late spring to summer.


USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Cotyledons can be divided into 2 groups. One group consists of evergreen plants with a summer growing period. The other group is made up of deciduous plants, splendidly magnificent with large, solid fleshy stems. The second group grows during the winter and sheds its leaves during the summer.

These succulents require a free-draining gritty mix and plenty of sunlight. They are tolerant of cool, frost-free conditions during the winter if kept dry. Some require pruning to maintain an attractive shape. Cotyledons should be kept in a sunny position. Follow general succulent watering procedures. Be careful of overwatering when they are deciduous.

As succulents go, Cotyledons certainly are rewarding garden and indoor subjects, practically independent of irrigation in all but full desert conditions, though they cannot survive poor light or bad drainage in the wet.

Feed it once or twice during the growing season with a fertilizer specifically formulated for cactus and succulents (poor in nitrogen), including all micronutrients and trace elements diluted to 1/2 the strength recommended on the label.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Cotyledon.


Cotyledon papillaris is native to South Africa.


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