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Tylecodon hirtifolius


Scientific Name

Tylecodon hirtifolius (W.F.Barker) Toelken


Cotyledon hirtifolia, Tylecodon hirtifolium

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Genus: Tylecodon


This species is native to South Africa, found in an area between Komaggas and Spektakel Pass in Northern Cape.


Tylecodon hirtifolius, also known as Tylecodon hirtifolium, is a low, sparingly branched succulent shrub with spreading to decumbent branches densely covered with grey-black truncate phyllopodia, which are sometimes replaced by a peeling bark. It grows up to 1 foot (30 cm) tall. Branches are up to 0.8 inches (20 cm) long and up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) in diameter. Leaves are flat, oblanceolate to obovate with upper face concave and lower face convex, up to 4 inches (10 cm) long and up to 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) wide. They are green or yellowish-green, densely covered with glandular hairs. Flowers are tubular, up to 0.7 inches (1.8 cm) long, glandular-hairy, yellowish-green with white to pale yellow, recurved petals. They appear on slender, up to 2.5 feet (75 cm) long thyrse in mid-summer. Leaves are dry at flowering.

The specific epithet "hirtifolius" derives from the Latin words "hirtus," meaning "hairy or shaggy" and "folios," meaning "leaves," and refers to the hairy leaves.

How to Grow and Care for Tylecodon hirtifolius

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. hirtifolius. 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.

Hardiness: Like all Tylecodons, this succulent is extremely tolerant when it comes to high temperatures and also tolerant of cold, frost-free conditions during the winter. T. hirtifolius can withstand temperatures as low as 30 to 50 °F (-1.1 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b.

Watering: As a winter grower, T. hirtifolius 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. hirtifolius 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 hirtifolius

T. hirtifolius is adapted to avoid animal predation being poisonous. Keep it away from children, pets, and livestock.


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