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Origin and Habitat: Cotyledon cuneata is widespread in western South Africa (Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Western Cape)with a range similar to that of Cotyledon orbiculata.
Altitude renge: 800-1200 metres above sea level.
Habitat and ecology: It growing in semi-arid regions on gentle, usually lower slopes of mountains and, as most of the Cotyledon, prefers some shade.
Cotyledon cuneata Thunb.
Prodr. Pl. Cap. 1: 83 (1794)
- Cotyledon cuneata Thunb.
- Adromischus cuneatus (Thunb.) Lem.
- Cotyledon deasii Schönland
- Cotyledon pillansii Schönland
Description: Cotyledon cuneata, also known as Adromischus cuneatus, is a perennial, decumbent, low growing shrub 30-75 cm in height with variably coloured flat leaves. The flowers of C. cuneata are yellow to yellow-green in colour during the summer and are cylindrical to urceolate, as opposed to the tubular shape displayed by most species of Cotyledon. In addition, whole plant, especially flowers, the exude a sticky substance. This does not only trap a lot of dust and sand particles, but also many insects which might otherwise have damaged the plant.
Stem: Branches, short, spreading and robust, 12 mm in diameter, sparsely branched, closely leafy for 7-15(-30) cm above the base, prolonged into a peduncle 20-35(45) cm long, ending in a spreading or condensed inflorescence.
Leaves: Opposite, hispid, oblongo-obovate, cuneate at base, to rarely oblanceolate, obtuse. 6-10(-17) cm long, (2.5-)4-8(-10) wide, very thick, usually cuspidate, subundulate, rarely rounded, dorsiventrally flattened and slightly convex on both surfaces, usually glabrous, rarely viscid, yellowish green rarely deep green.
Inflorescence (thyrse): Peduncles terminal, very long, viscid, pubescent, with 3-5 dichasia each with (3-)5-9 flowers.
Flowers: Calyx and corolla highly viscid on the outside and hirsute. Calyx lobes triangular-lanceolate, 4-6 mm long, acute, viscid. Corolla yellow to yellowish green. Tube of the corolla twice as long as the calyx, about as long as the limb viscid on the outside, glabrous inside except for a few hairs where filaments are fused to tube. Tube of the corolla cylindrical to urceolate 6-12 mm long, and about as much in diameter, the linear-lanceolate lobes as long or longer, reflexed and straight. Anthers 3 mm long.
Flowering period (in habitat): November, December (summer), just as the plant enters dormancy.
Related species: It is closely related to Cotyledon papillaris and Cotyledon elisseae.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) W. H. Harvey “Flora Capensis” Vol 2, page 327, 1894
2) Foden, W. & Potter, L. 2005. Cotyledon cuneata Thunb. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2014.1. Accessed on 2014/12/06
3) Dr J.P. Roux “Flora of South Africa” 2003
4) “Cotyledon cuneata Thunb.” African Plants Database (version 3.4.0). Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la Ville de Genève and South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, "Retrieved [set month and year]", from <http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/>.
5) Mark E. Mort, Nicholas Levsen, Christopher P. Randle, Ernst Van Jaarsveld, Annie Palmer “Phylogenetics and diversification of Cotyledon (Crassulaceae) inferred from nuclear and chloroplast from nuclear and chloroplast DNA sequence data” American Journal of Botany 92(7): 1170–1176. 2005.
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