Cotyledon orbiculata has at least five different variations and maybe further variable forms associated with regional habitats and the trials and tribulations of living conditions that stimulate species to evolve. All these plants are, however, endowed with pretty leaves and flowers, causing them to appear in gardens together, displaying their contrasts, but risking hybridised offspring that blur the current distinctions in future plants.
Note the short, pointed lobes to the calyces at the tops of the pendulous corollas in the photo. The flower tube has petals that cohere about seamlessly, only separating near the bottom where they recurve strongly. Some protruding anthers are just visible below the flowers. The sturdy peduncles hold the flower clusters up, while the thin individual pedicels allow their flowers to droop. The robust stalk carrying the whole inflorescence stands tall above the leaves.
These plants grow easily and are popular with succulent gardeners who love them more than livestock farmers do. This is so because stock losses are incurred in some regions of the country when animals eat the plakkie, which happens especially during drought conditions (Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2010).
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