September 2014 Plant Highlight: Cotyledon tomentosa

by Brian Kemble


Cotyledon tomentosa is densely branched and attains a height of up to 20 inches (50 cm), but it is often shorter than this. The thick roundish green leaves are up to 1.4 inches long (3.5 cm), with a row of stubby little teeth at the tips. The teeth are often tipped with red or purple.



This species comes into flower in summer, with the flowering extending into fall. The short inflorescences bear clusters of a few urn-shaped flowers whose 5 petals curl back at the tips. The flower color ranges from yellow-orange to light orange-red or pinkish, with short thick sepals clasping the base. The plant's leaves are covered with short hairs, and the hairiness extends to the flower stalks, the sepals and the petals.


C. tomentosa is native to South Africa, growing in semi-arid inland areas in the south-central part of the country. It is found in rocky places, often wedged between rocks. Though it can take temperatures down to freezing without injury, it should be given some protection if the thermometer drops much below this for any length of time.


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Mission Statement
The mission of the Ruth Bancroft Garden, Inc. is to preserve this exceptional example of garden design and to continue to develop its collection of water-conserving plants for the education and enjoyment of the public.  
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The Ruth Bancroft Garden would like to recognize the following grant funders:

The Quest Foundation for funding our Education Coordinator’s position

The Mervyn L. Brenner Foundation and The Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust for funding our directional signs

The California Horticultural Society for funding towards our restoration projects

The Bonita Garden Clubfor funding restoration and education projects


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