A typical height if 1,8 m was given in an earlier entry for Tylecodon paniculatus (including inflorescence) in this Album. Heights of up to 3 m have been recorded. Thabo Maphisa, this Site's main photographer, gives an indication of the unusual height of this plant among those typically found on hillsides near Oudtshoorn.
Industrial Psychology distinguishes between typical performance and peak performance in measured behaviour of people. When the adrenaline flows, someone may give the peak performance of a lifetime when properly prepared and focused. Everyday behaviour measurements show typical results at moderate levels.
Some people’s everyday work output is closer to their peak capacity than others; they are sought after in the job market. This is motivation related, but also to the nature of the work. The Olympic athlete hopes to peak once in four years; the great performing artist saving it for the great occasion, but practicing hard for long periods.
Records of what plants can do will almost always fall short of the one specimen for which every factor became super-optimal to set a world record never to be achieved again. Among people many records are aimed at, set to be broken. Plants couldn't care less, but in continual change conditions keep creating chance opportunities for more astonishing extremes (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Williamson, 2010; Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2010).