T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Cotyledon orbiculata (Pig's Ear)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Saxifragales
Family: Crassulaceae
Genus: Cotyledon
Species: C. orbiculata
Binomial name: Cotyledon orbiculata
Synonyms: Cotyledon elata, Cotyledon oblonga, Cotyledon ovata, Cotyledon ramose
Common names: Pig's Ear or Round-leafed Navel-wort

C. orbiculata is an extremely variable species of a succulent plant belonging to the Cotyledon genus. It is a native of South Africa. It can grow to approximately 50cm in height. 
It has large gray-green paddle shaped stalkless leaves that can be up to 11 by 9 cm with a white powdery substance on them that helps reflect sunlight and conserve water. The shape of the leaves was thought to have a resemblance to a pig's ear, thus the common name. In December to June it has bell-shaped flowers which are small, usually less than 3 cm in length, and droop from the top of a 50 cm tall stalk. The flowers are usually orange-red but yellow varieties also exist.
In the wild, it grows naturally in rocky outcrops in grassy shrubland. It is found throughout New Zealand where it is considered to be an invasive plant and it is listed on the National Pest Plant Accord.



 

 

 
The pig ear shaped leaves.