ISI 2002-14. Cotyledon tomentosa ssp. ladismithiensis (Poelln.) Toelken

Here (as with Kalanchoe thyrsiflora, (ISI 2001-38) we encounter another name long misapplied in cultivation. The common and popular bear-paw cotyledon widely sold as C. ladismithiensis (frequently misspelled ladismithensis) is, in fact, Cotyledon tomentosa ssp. tomentosa. The two subspecies differ as follows: ssp. tomentosa has flatter leaves with 3-5 terminal teeth, those of ssp. ladismithiensis typically have only 1-3 teeth and are nearly round in cross section. More numerous small teeth may be apparent in ssp. ladismithiensis at first, but these seem to disappear as the leaf matures. Both ssp. have plump fuzzy leaves very pleasing to the touch and campanulate to urceolate orange flowers. Rooted cuts of HBG 69296, a plant collected Aug. 1988, by M. Wilkins (# 022), at 675 m. elev., at Sewefontein, about 60 km W of Ladismith, E. Cape, S. Africa. $5.50.

leaves close up

Photo © 2002 by John N. Trager. Images may not be used elsewhere without permission.

Published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal, Vol. 74 (2), March - April, 2002