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 Weather Station

Products > Cotyledon orbiculata var. oblonga 'Flavida'
Cotyledon orbiculata var. oblonga 'Flavida' - Finger Aloe

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Crassulaceae (Stonecrops)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Peach
Bloomtime: Summer
Synonyms: [C. teretifolia, Hort., C. 'Grey Sticks']
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 3-4 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Seaside: Yes
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Cotyledon orbiculata var. oblonga 'Flavida' (Finger Aloe) - This is an attractive South African succulent with long grayish-white chalky-looking finger-like leaves. The plant spreads out to form a small low shrub or groundcover. In spring a cluster of pale orange bell-shaped flowers dangle from 12-18 inch tall stems. Plant should be in full sun to light shade in a well-drained soil. It is drought tolerant and can take temperatures down to the mid 20 degrees F without damage. Although we have grown this plant for years as Cotyledon campanulata we have recently discovered that this name is incorrect as the true Cotyledon campanulata has green foliage and yellow flowers. Our thanks to Stephen Jankalski for identifying this plant as Cotyledon orbiculata var. oblonga 'Flavida', a plant that was originally collected in the wild in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. E. van Jaarsveld describes this same plant in the new "Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Crassulaceae" as Cotyledon orbiculata var. oblonga 'Grey Sticks'. It may also be identical to Cotyledon ' Mr. (or Mrs.) Butterfield', which is described as a garden hybrid. A confusing story for such a beautiful plant! There has not been a recorded incident of this plant causing harm to humans but there have been cases in California where sheep have died when fed Cotyledon orbiculata and all Cotyledons should be considered poisonous. In South Africa, the disease caused by eating these plants, called cotyledonosis, has poisoned sheep and goats but rarely other animals. Ranchers in South Africa found that the meat of animals killed by cotyledonosis also remains toxic The reason for this name for the genus is a complicated story. The plant, Wall Pennywort or Navelwort, (Umbilicus rupestris) was previously included in the genus. In medieval times, and in homeopathic medicine, this plant was/is commonly known as Cotyledon so this name stuck with the genus, even though the plant it was named for did not. The name originated from the Greek word 'kotyledon' or 'kotyle' meaning "cupped", "hollowed" or "a cavity". The specific epithet is Latin meaning "round and flat" or "disk-shaped" in reference to the typical leaf shape of the species.  The information on this webpage is based on research conducted about this plant in our nursery library, from online sources, as well as from observations made of it as it grows in the nursery in containers, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens where we have observed it growing. We will also incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from those who may have additional information, particularly if this information includes cultural information that would aid others in growing  Cotyledon orbiculata oblonga 'Flavida'.