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

More details about Cotyledon orbiculata L.
Family Crassulaceae
Region of origin

Southern Africa

Common Name

Pig’s ear

Name in the Camden Park Record

Cotyledon orbiculare 

Confidence level high