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Cotyledon tomentosa (Bear’s Paw)


Scientific Name

Cotyledon tomentosa Harv.

Common Names

Bear’s Paw


Cotyledon tomentosa subsp. tomentosa

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Sedoideae
Genus: Cotyledon


Cotyledon tomentosa is a succulent shrublet, densely branched and up to 20 inches (50 cm) tall. The leaves are flat, succulent and hairy, up to 1.5 inches (3.5 cm) long with 3 to 10 (often reddish) teeth, arranged in a neat row. There are bright green forms with yellowish hairs and grey ones with whitish hairs. The bell-shaped flowers are light yellow, orange to orange-red or pinkish in color.

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USDA hardiness zone 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Cotyledons can be divided into two 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. Cotyledons 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 over-watering 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… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Cotyledon


Native to South Africa (Cape Province).

Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars and Hybrids


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