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Tylecodon wallichii (Pegleg Butterbush)


Scientific Name

Tylecodon wallichii (Harv.) Toelken

Common Names

Common Pegleg Butterbush, Pegleg Butterbush, Wallich Tylecodon


Cotyledon wallichii, Tyledocon papillaris subsp. wallichii, Tylecodon wallichii subsp. wallichii

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Genus: Tylecodon


This species is native to southern Namibia and South Africa (Northern Cape and Western Cape).


Tylecodon wallichii is a small, sparingly branched succulent shrub with a grayish-black main stem and gray-green branches. It grows up to 32 inches (80 cm) tall. The mains stem is up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) in diameter, while the branches are up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) in diameter. They are densely covered with long phyllopodia, which are sometimes replaced by a peeling bark. Leaves are cylindrical or slightly grooved above, tapering toward the apex, curved inwards, up to 4.8 inches (12 cm) long, and up to 0.2 inches (0.5 cm) in diameter. They are grey-green to grey-brown and crowded at branch tips. Flowers are greenish-yellow, tubular, up to 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) long. They appear in summer, when the plant sheds its leaves, on tall branched stems.

The specific epithet "wallichii" honors Nathaniel Wallich (1786-1854), a Danish surgeon and botanist who worked in Calcutta, India. He was involved in the early development of the Calcutta Botanical Garden and prepared a catalog of more than 20,000 specimens.

Tylecodon wallichii (Pegleg Butterbush)

Photo by QS Plant

How to Grow and Care for Tylecodon wallichii

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 wallichii 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 wallichii

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


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