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Cotyledon pendens (Cliff Cotyledon)


Scientific Name

Cotyledon pendens van Jaarsv.

Common Names

Cliff Cotyledon

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Sedoideae
Genus: Cotyledon


Cotyledon pendens is a much-branched, succulent shrublet with dense, curtain-forming, hanging stems up to 2 feet (60 cm) long. The stems and leaves are at first sparsely beset with glandular hairs, becoming hairless with age. Its leaves are in opposite pairs, pendent, often crowded and highly succulent. The leaf blades are elliptic to ovoid, up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long, up to 0.6 inch (1.5 cm) wide and up to 0.4 inch (1 cm) thick. The leaf surface is whitish grey-green (due to the powdery bloom) with reddish margins. The inflorescence is branched, hanging up to 3.6 inches (9 cm) long, with up to 4 flowers and produced at the ends of the branches. The flowers are bell-shaped, orange-red and up to 1.8 inches (4.5 cm) long.


USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °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 sun. 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 pendens is native to South Africa (Bashe River in the Eastern Cape).


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