Tylecodon ellaphieae van Jaarsv.
This species is native to South Africa. It occurs on sheer quartzitic sandstone cliff-faces along the Rosyntjieberg massif in the north-east Richtersveld, Northern Cape.
Tylecodon ellaphieae is a dwarf, sparingly branched succulent with 2 to 8 erect to ascending branches that grow from a tuberous base. It grows up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) tall. The caudex is light maroon with yellowish-grey peeling bark and up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) in diameter. Branches are gray to grey-green with truncate phyllopodia, up to 2 inches (5 cm) long and about 0.3 inches (0.8 cm) in diameter. Leaves are thick, fleshy, green, and covered with glandular hairs. They are egg-shaped, with a short stalk and upper surface channeled at the base, up to 1.8 inches (4.5 cm) long, and up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) wide. Flowers appear in flat-topped clusters on upright, up to 2 inches (5 cm) long peduncle in mid-summer when the plant sheds its leaves. The corolla is tubular, light green outside, yellow-green inside, up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) long, and has white lobes.
The specific epithet "ellaphieae" honors Ellaphie Ward-Hilhorst (1920-1994), a well-known South African botanical artist.
How to Grow and Care for Tylecodon ellaphieae
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 ellaphieae 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 ellaphieae
Tylecodon species are adapted to avoid animal predation being poisonous. Therefore, keep them away from children, pets, and livestock.
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