Glottiphyllum linguiforme N.E.Br.
Tongue Leaf Plant, Tongue Plant
Glottiphyllum linguiforme is a small, spreading succulent with few short decumbent branches and grey-green tongue-shaped leaves arranged in two opposite vertical rows. It forms clumps up to 2.6 inches (6.5 cm) tall and 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter. Leaves are flushed bronze to purple in summer when the plant goes dormant. They are ascending to erect, rather flat, narrowing to the base, about 2.6 inches (6.5 cm) long and 1.8 inches (4.5 cm) wide. In robust specimens, the leaves may be up to 5 inches (12.5 cm) long and 3 inches (7.5 cm) wide.
The large yellow, daisy-like flowers with many narrow radiating petals appear in winter and spring. They are up to 2.8 inches (7 cm) in diameter. Seed capsules have a conical, somewhat woody base and fall off the plant when they dry, becoming tumble fruits and spreading the seeds.
This species is similar to Glottiphyllum carnosum but is less branched and has flatter leaves.
Glottiphyllum linguiforme is native to South Africa. It occurs in the central part of the arid Little Karoo near Oudtshoorn in the Western Cape, growing under shrubs on loamy sands with quartzite.
The specific epithet "linguiforme (lin-GWEE-form-ee)" means "tongue-shaped" and refers to the shape of the leaves.
How to Grow and Care for Glottiphyllum linguiforme
Light: This succulent needs bright light but does not like too much direct sun. A sunny windowsill where the plant receives 4 to 5 hours of direct sunlight during the early part of the day and partial shade during the afternoon is the perfect spot to grow your G. linguiforme indoors.
Soil: G. linguiforme thrives best in porous soil mixes that allow water to drain away quickly. Use a commercial potting mix specially designed for growing succulents, or make your own.
Temperature: This plant tolerates extreme summer high temperatures by going dormant. G. linguiforme can withstand temperatures as low as 10 °F (-12.2 °C). USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 8a to 10b, 10 to 40 °F (-12.2 to 4.4 °C).
Watering: G. linguiforme requires little or no water when it goes dormant, usually in summer. When it begins to grow again in fall, it is safe to water deeply, allowing the soil to dry before between waterings. If leaves start to wrinkle during the growing season, your plant needs water.
Fertilizing: This small succulent is a light feeder and does not need fertilizer if it is repotted every two years.
Repotting: G. linguiforme will stay happy in the same pot for several decades. The common reason for repotting is to give the plant a larger growing space. The best time to repot this plant is at the beginning of the active growth period, but the repotting can be done almost any time while the plant is actively growing.
Propagation: This species is easily propagated by stem cuttings and seeds. The best time to take cuttings is the end of summer. Sow the seeds in spring in a pot with a well-drained soil mix.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Mesembs.
Toxicity of Glottiphyllum linguiforme
G. linguiforme is considered non-toxic to humans and pets.
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