Cotyledon
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PETIOLARIS   van Jaarsveld, 2015

Distribution : Eastern coast of Eastern Cape, South Africa, growing on shale cliffs of the Mbashe River.

 

Description :

Erect to spreading, branched shrub to 25 - 35 cm high.

Roots fibrous.

Branches ascending, 6 - 8 mm in diameter, at first green becoming greyish brown, older branches grey.

Leaves 7.5 - 12.5 x 3.5 - 5.5 cm, oblanceolate (rarely elliptical), firm leathery, densely covered with translucent hairs 0.3 - 0.4 mm long, concave above, green, margin reddish, cartilaginous, sometimes undulating, continuous to the short petiole, apex sub-acute to rounded (rarely acute), mucronate, petiole short, 8 - 10 mm long.

Inflorescence an erect thyrse, with 3 - 5 dichasia, peduncle 20 - 25 cm long, covered in hairs similar to those on the leaves, 1 pair of bracts 2 x 1.5 mm, early deciduous.

Flowers : Sepals 2 x 2 mm, green, corolla tubular, orange-red, 20 - 25 mm long, about  9 - 10 mm in diameter, tube 14 - 16 mm long, petals free for 12 - 13 mm at apex, linear-lanceolate, recurved, anthers yellow.

 

Note :

The closest relative of Cotyledon petiolaris is C. velutina, the tallest of all Cotyledon species. It differs from the latter by being much smaller in size (only 25 - 35 cm high), leaves being very firm leathery, with a short petiole and with a cartilaginous margin running to the petiole, a much shorter peduncle and longer cylindrical corolla tube (20 - 25 mm long). The short petiole is unique in the genus Cotyledon.

 

First published in Bradleya 33/2015.




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