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Origin and Habitat: Cotyledon eliseaeSN|33245]]SN|33245]] is only known from a very restricted range from the Schoemanspoort area of the Gouritz River valley, Little Karoo (Western Cape), South Africa (Extent of occurrence less 100 km2) where it is locally common in suitable habitat.
Habitat and ecology: Succulent Karoo and Valley Bushveld. This species grows on quartzite sandstone cliff faces and is therefore not threatened.
- Cotyledon eliseae van Jaarsv.
Description: Cotyledon eliseae described by van Jaarsveld in Bradleya 15/1997, is a very pretty, rounded, compact, branched shrublets to 20 cm tall. It is one of the most floriferous cotyledon with long-lasting showy, nodding, orange-red flowers and rich green foliage. It is readily distinguishable from the related Cotyledon woodii by its sticky leaves and its dwarf stature rather than sprawling growth.
Derivation of specific name: This member of the Crassulaceae family was given this name by for Mrs. Elise Bodley van Wyk (1922– 1997), a talented south African botanical illustrator who painted all known Tylecodon species.
Stems: Branches to 5 mm in diameter, old woody with peeling bark.
Leaves: Obovate, 1.5- 3.4 cm long, 1-1.4 cm wide, both faces convex, glandular-hairy, sticky, green, margin with reddish highlights in the upper half.
Inflorescences: Compound up to 9 cm long with 1-3 dichasia (branches); peduncle brownish-purple, 2 mm in diameter.
Flowers. Pedicels to 18 mm long. Sepals 2.5 long, 3 mm wide, with green-purplish markings. Corolla deep red, tube 12 long, 5-6 mm diameter, lobes 15 mm long, lanceolate, spreading. Filaments 12 mm, white, flattened. Anthers flattened, 1 mm in diameter. Nectaries square, yellow, fleshy, 1 x 1 mm, spreading-ascending.
Blooming season: It flowers in mid-summer.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Urs Eggli “Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Crassulaceae” Springer Science & Business Media, 06 December 2012
2) Urs Eggli, Leonard E. Newton “Etymological Dictionary of Succulent Plant Names” Springer Science & Business Media, 29 June 2013
3) International Succulent Introductions of the Huntington Botanical Gardens “ISI 2007-16. Cotyledon eliseae van Jaarsveld” Published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal, Vol. 79 (2), March - April, 2007 web: <http://www.huntington.org/BotanicalDiv/ISI/ISI2007/2007-16.html>
4) Cotyledon eliseae in: Strelitzia number 25 (2009) page 306.
5) Nibbiy Klinefelter “Succulent of the month: Cotyledon” in Espinas y flores – Newsletter of the San Diego cactus & succulents society, March 14 1998.
Cotyledon eliseae Photo by: Giuseppe Distefano
The gallery now contains thousands of pictures, however it is possible to do even more. We are, of course, seeking photos of species not yet shown in the gallery but not only that, we are also looking for better pictures than those already present. Read More...
Cultivation and Propagation: Cotyledon eliseaeSN|33245]]SN|33245]] is a relatively commonly sold plant at garden outlet nurseries, and can make a nice low succulent shrublet in the garden, does well in containers, and makes a good houseplant. It is widely grown and not difficult to cultivate. Cotyledons are very responsive to differing cultural conditions both as regards colour, length and shape of leaves, rate of growth and size of plant. They are dormant in summer and thrive with bright light and ample airflow.
Growth rate: Moderately fast.
Soil: It grows best in sandy-gritty soil. Good drainage is very important as it is prone to root rot.
Fertilization: Feed it once or twice during the growing season with a fertilizer specifically formulated for cactus and succulents (poor in nitrogen), including all micro nutrients and trace elements diluted to ½ the strength recommended on the label.
Watering Needs: It is a very dry-tolerant plant. Water regularly in the growing season, but avoid water-logging and let dry between waterings. Water with caution in winter, as the plant can lose its roots if the soil stays cold and wet for extended periods. If grown in a container, bottom watering by immersing the container is recommended. It must have very dry atmosphere.
Sun Exposure: Does well in full sun, but can handle some shade, too. In shade the leaves colour will remain more green, while in harsh full sun conditions the foliage can develop a pale yellowish tinge. In summer keep cool and provide some shelter from direct sun during the hottest hours. It can be sunburned if moved from shade/greenhouse into full sun too quickly. It tends to get really leggy in deep shade).
Frost Tolerance: Protect from frost to prevent scarring. It requires a minimum temperature of about 5°C, but will take a light frost and is hardy down to -5° C for short periods if it is in dry soil (Lethal temperature in habitat -6 to -10 ° Celsius). USDA zones 9A–11. In areas prone to frost, grow in an intermediate greenhouse or conservatory, in pots.
Uses: They make wonderful rocker plants in hot, dry areas and also grow well in containers or sunny patios or in a hot corner next to a swimming pool.
Warning: The plants are highly 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.
Pests and diseases: May be susceptible to mealybugs and rarely scale. Protect from cold.
Propagation: From seed but it is easily increased by cuttings. Cuttings root easily. It is also possible, to plant the leaves in good, sandy soil where they will take root - members of this family often propagate vegetatively in this way.
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