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Cotyledon tomentosa subsp. ladismithiensis (Bear's Paw)


Scientific Name

Cotyledon tomentosa subsp. ladismithiensis (Poelln.) Toelken

Common Names

Bear's Paw


Cotyledon tomentosa subsp. ladysmithiensis, Cotyledon ladismithiensis, Cotyledon ladysmithensis, Cotyledon heterophylla

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Sedoideae
Genus: Cotyledon


Cotyledon tomentosa subsp. ladismithiensis is a succulent shrublet, up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall to up to 40 inches (1.2 m) including the flower stems, densely branched, and covered with hairs. Leaves are oblong-elliptic or almost cylindrical, yellow-green, sometimes the tips being reddish, with 1 to 3 apical teeth and up to 2 inches (5 cm) long. More small teeth may be apparent at first, but these seem to disappear as the leaf matures. Flowers are orange-red to almost yellow.


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

How to Grow and Care

Bear's Paw grows in bright, shaded areas where they rarely receive direct sunlight. Outdoors, plant them in slightly sandy, well-drained soil where water doesn't collect after rain or irrigation. Potted plants require a container with at least one bottom drainage hole. When planting Bear's Paw in containers, select pots only slightly larger than the root system.

Regular deep watering in the summer months, when the plant is actively growing, keeps the Bear's Paw healthy. Water garden plants deeply once weekly when there is no rainfall, supplying about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water. Potted plants require watering when the soil had almost completely dried. Fully drench the soil until the water drains from the bottom hole in the pot and empty the collected water after draining the pot. Bear's Paw only requires enough water in winter, so the soil doesn't dry completely, and the plants don't shrivel.

Light fertilization twice monthly is only necessary during the active summer growing season. An all-purpose, water-soluble fertilizer, such as a 24-8-16 blend, works well for succulent plants.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for a Bear's Paw (Cotyledon tomentosa).


Cotyledon tomentosa subsp. ladismithiensis is native to South Africa (Cape Province).


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