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Tylecodon atropurpureus


Scientific Name

Tylecodon atropurpureus Bruyns

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Genus: Tylecodon


This species is native to South Africa (Northern Cape).


Tylecodon atropurpureus is a succulent plant with underground caudex that split at the apex into 2 to 6 short branches. The swollen tuber is oblong, with peeling grey bark, up to 6 inches (15 cm) long, and up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. Leaves are green, pubescent on both surfaces, egg- to spatula-shaped, up to 3.2 inches (8 cm) long, and up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) wide. Flowers appear in mid-summer, when the plant sheds its leaves, on up to 15 inches (37.5 cm) long inflorescences. They are tubular, up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) long, up to 0.2 inches (0.5 cm) in diameter, greenish-yellow with yellow insides, and black-purple petal tips.

The specific epithet "atropurpureus" derives from the Latin words "atro," meaning "dark" and "purpureus," meaning "purple," and refers to the black-purple flower tips.

Tylecodon atropurpureus

Photo by kitoi

How to Grow and Care for Tylecodon atropurpureus

Soil: Well-draining soil mix is the key to healthy Tylecodon. Poor drainage and overwatering most commonly cause root rot in both indoor and outdoor plants.

Light: Tylecodons can survive direct sunlight exposure without any problems, but they will grow beautifully when in shadow.

Hardiness: Tylecodon atropurpureus can withstand temperatures as low as 25 to 50 °F (-3.9 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b.

Watering: As winter is the growing season, Tylecodons require careful watering during the winter until the spring. Get the soil wet and then wait until it is dry before watering again. In the summer, reduce watering to once per month.

Fertilizing: Use liquid fertilizer for cacti and other succulents during the winter months.

Repotting: You do not need to repot these plants often. You can do it when you see that the container becomes too small or shallow.

Propagation: Tylecodons can be cultivated either by seed or by cuttings.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Tylecodon.

Toxicity of Tylecodon atropurpureus

Tylecodon species are adapted to avoid animal predation being poisonous. Keep them away from children, pets, and livestock.


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