Cotyledon orbiculata var. oblonga ‘Macrantha’


Cotyledon orbiculata var. oblonga ‘Macrantha’ is an excellent succulent for massing in rock, cactus and succulent gardens.

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Cotyledon orbiculata var. oblonga 'Macrantha'

  • Names and Synonyms:  
    Cotyledon macrantha, Cotyledon virescens, Cotyledon orbiculata var. orbiculata
  • Common Names:  
    Pig's Ear 'Macrantha'
  • Family:  
  • Origin:  
    South Africa and Swaziland where it is found growing in coastal bluffs and dunes, or in rock crevices in exposed situations of slopes often in low treeless vegetation among grasses.
  • Height:  
  • Width:  
  • Cold Tolerance:  
    20 to 25°F, -6.7 to -3.9°C
  • Heat Tolerance:  
    Very heat tolerant.
  • Light Requirement:  
    Full sun to light shade but it flowers best in full sun.
  • Water needs:  
    Very drought tolerant but some water during the growing season is beneficial. Note that plants are best watered from below to avoid washing off the attractive white, waxy protective leaf coating.
  • Maintenance:  
    Remove spent flower stalks as desired.
  • Uses:  
    Excellent massed in rock, cactus and succulent gardens or as a low-to-medium height xeriscape ground cover. Also works well in containers.
  • Propagation:  
    From seed but it is also easy to increase this plant by cuttings which root freely. Even just a leaf can be planted in good, sandy soil where it will take root. The best time to sow the seed is in spring, and it should be kept moist, but not waterlogged. Once the seedlings have reached an inch in size they can be transplanted.
  • Problems:  
    Requires good draining soils to avoid root rot.
  • Special notes:  
    Cotyledon orbiculata var. oblonga 'Macrantha' has flattened short paddle shaped leaves which are bright green in color. The leaf margins are edged in a contrasting brownish red. This plant is a moderately fast growing succulent that spreads to form a colony. In spring through summer it sends up long-lasting flower spikes which are topped with very pretty bright red bell-shaped flowers. These are very attractive to hummingbirds. The plants are poisonous to humans and domestic animals, especially sheep and goats, and the meat of animals killed by cotyledonosis remains toxic even after cooking. Poisoning may be acute or chronic, the latter due to the cumulative effect of the toxin.