Tylecodon 'Mystery' - A deciduous succulent shrub to 2 to 3 feet tall by as wide with snaking thick succulent stems that have a fairly rough bark-like skin and at branch tips produces clusters of narrow channeled 2- to 3-inch-long by quarter to half inch wide bright green leaves. In early summer (July in Santa Barbara), while the plant is often deciduous, appear 18-inch-long branching racemes of bright yellow flowers that emerge from reddish buds – pretty spectacular!
Plant in a well-drained soil and irrigate only occasionally if needed between rain events from fall through early spring and very infrequently or not at all when deciduous late spring through early fall. Has proven hardy to short duration drops to 25°F in our garden.
Tylecodon species grow naturally in winter rainfall areas of South Africa. As a genus Tylecodon was only described in 1978 by Australian born South African botanist Hellmut Toelken in his revision of the Crassula family. The name for the genus is an anagram (a word formed by rearranging the letters of another word) of Cotyledon, the genus that all Tylecodon plants were previously classified as. As it stands now that are 11 species of Cotyledon and 46 species of Tylecodon, which makes it the second largest genus in the Crassulaceae of South Africa, with only Crassula having more species with 150.
This particular plant has long been grown as Tylecodon dinteri or T. paniculatus variety dinterii , which is an invalid name for a plant more closely associated with Tylecodon wallichii (as var. eckloniananus), but it lacks the hardened woody leaf scars of this taxon. Some believe it is a hybrid between Tylecodon wallichii and Tylecodon paniculatus and list it as Tylecodon x dinteri, while others maintain that since Tylecodon dinteri was the name associated with another plant, the epithet "dinteri" should not be used in reference to this hybrid plant and instead it should be listed as a cultivar with the synonym "Tylecodon dinteri, Hort.", which indicates that it has been mistakenly associated with this name in horticulture. In the November-December 2016 issue of the Journal of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America (Vol 88 Number 6) the author Michael Wisnev describes this plant and gives it the cultivar name Tylecodon 'Mystery' (Tylecodon dinteri, Hort.).
Information about Tylecodon 'Mystery' displayed on this page is based on our research about it conducted in our library and gathered from reliable online sources. We include observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well as how the crops have performed in containers in our own nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others about this plant when we feel it adds information and particularly welcome hearing from anyone who has any additional cultural recommendations that would aid others in growing it.