Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Cotyledon orbiculata L.

Frost tender, shrubby, erect, freely-branching succulent with thick, fleshy stems, white-frosted-waxy, white or grey leaves, and long inflorescences of tubular, red, or yellowish red flowers in summer and autumn.  To 1m.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘One of our oldest succulents, being introduced as long since as 1690, by Mr. Bentick; it still retains its place in most collections, deservedly indeed, for it has every claim to our notice; its appearance is magnificent, the glaucous colour of its foliage highly pleasing, its flowers large and of long duration; it blows freely, grows rapidly, is easily increased by cuttings, and will succeed in a house or window, with the common treatment of an African Geranium.  When suffered to grow, it will become a shrub of considerable size; but this is not necessary for its flowering, as young and small plants are disposed to throw out blossoms.’  [BM t.321/1795].

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1857 catalogue and now well established in the gardens [T.349/1857].


Cotyledon orbiculata Forssk. (1775) = Kalanchoe alternans Pers.

Published Feb 28, 2009 - 04:56 PM | Last updated Jul 16, 2010 - 04:34 PM

Shown are white-frosted leaves, and tubular, red, or yellowish red flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.321, 1795.

Cotyledon orbiculata L. | BM t.321/1795 | BHL

Family Crassulaceae
Region of origin

Southern Africa

Common Name

Pig’s ear

Name in the Camden Park Record

Cotyledon orbiculare 

Confidence level