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Glottiphyllum depressum (Tongue Plant)


Scientific Name

Glottiphyllum depressum (Haw.) N.E.Br.

Common Names

Tongue Plant, Tongue-leaf, Tongue-leaved Mesemb, Fig Marigold


Glottiphyllum barrydalense, Glottiphyllum buffelsvleyense, Glottiphyllum fragrans, Glottiphyllum framesii, Glottiphyllum haagei, Glottiphyllum jacobsenianum, Glottiphyllum marlothii, Glottiphyllum muirii, Glottiphyllum nysiae, Glottiphyllum platycarpum, Glottiphyllum proclive, Glottiphyllum rufescens, Glottiphyllum starkeae, Glottiphyllum taurinum, Glottiphyllum uniondalense, Mesembryanthemum depressum, Mesembryanthemum fragrans, Mesembryanthemum linguiforme var. depressum, Mesembryanthemum ruedebuschii, Mesembryanthemum rufescens, Mesembryanthemum taurinum

Scientific Classification

Family: Aizoaceae
Subfamily: Ruschioideae
Tribe: Ruschieae
Genus: Glottiphyllum


Glottiphyllum depressum is a small succulent plant that forms compact, moderately branched groups of low, clustered rosettes. The leaves are large, fat, bright green, flattened, with rounded tips and joined at the base. They are soft, smooth to the touch and break rather easily. The flowers are yellow and up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. The flowers and fruits do not have long stalks and are therefore held close against the plant.

Glottiphyllum depressum (Tongue Plant)

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

How to Grow and Care

Mesembs are mostly adapted to relatively predictable rainfall patterns rather than extreme drought and irregular rainfall. Total rainfall may be extremely low, but water is available at least seasonally or through fog and condensation. This leads to or allows plants which are not especially large and sometimes very small, and affects the way they need to be treated in cultivation.

The basics of care are very simple, with free-draining soil, plenty of sun and ventilation, and regular light watering in the right season. Yet the difficulties are endless, trying to adapt to the Mesembs' own adaptability and to follow their growth habits in your particular conditions.

These plants require a loam-based compost with the addition of extra drainage material such as horticultural grit or perlite. They all like good light conditions and plenty of ventilation.

Some are relatively cold-hardy and can even survive mild winters outside. Most will survive temperatures down to freezing point. There are some Mesembs which begin to grow in the fall as the temperature drops and the days get shorter… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Mesembs


Glottiphyllum depressum is native to South Africa.


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