Tylecodon faucium (Poelln.) Toelken
This species is native to South Africa. It grows in shaded rock crevices, often on south-facing slopes from Ouberg Pass, Sutherland to Matjiesfontein and Moordenaars Karoo.
Tylecodon faucium is a small succulent with an indistinct tuberous base with short erect branches covered with short pointed phyllopodia. The branches are up to 2.8 inches (7 cm) tall and up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) in diameter. Older branches have grey-green bark. Leaves are green to grey-green, often pinkish, and covered with scattered glandular hairs. They are variable in shape, mostly oblanceolate, obovate to spatulate with the upper face grooved or flat, up to 2.4 inches (3.5 cm), and up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) wide. The old leaves remain attached to phyllopodia. Flowers erect, with yellowish-green funnel-shaped corolla and pink to maroon, spreading to recurved lobes. They appear in mid-summer in a thyrse with usually 1 to 3 monochasia, each with 1-3 flowers. The flower stems persist after flowering.
The specific epithet "faucium (FOW-see-um)" is the genitive plural of the Latin noun "fauces," meaning "the upper part of a throat; a throat, pharynx, gullet" or "a narrow entrance" and probably refers to the orifice of the corolla tube.
How to Grow and Care for Tylecodon faucium
Light: This succulent can survive direct sunlight exposure without any problems, but it will grow beautifully in partial shade.
Soil: A well-draining soil mix is a key to healthy T. faucium. Poor drainage and overwatering most commonly cause root rot in both indoor and outdoor plants. Indoors, it is essential to use pots with at least one drainage hole at the bottom.
Temperature: Like all Tylecodons, this succulent is highly tolerant when it comes to high temperatures and also tolerant of cold, frost-free conditions during the winter. T. faucium can withstand temperatures as low as 30 °F (-1.1 °C). USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 10a to 11b, 30 to 50 °F (-1.1 to 10 °C).
Watering: As a winter grower, T. faucium requires careful watering during winter and spring. Get the soil wet, and then wait until it is dry before watering again. In 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 this plant often. You can do it when you see that the container becomes too small or shallow.
Propagation: T. faucium can be cultivated either by seed or by cuttings. Sow the seeds in fall and winter. The best time for taking cuttings is the fall.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Tylecodon.
Toxicity of Tylecodon faucium
T. faucium is adapted to avoid animal predation being poisonous. Therefore, keep it away from children, pets, and livestock.
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