Tylecodon singularis (R.A.Dyer) Toelken

This unusual looking member of the Crassulaceae family is only known from remote mountain tops in the mountains above Rosh Pinah in Namibia. It is found growing in rock crevices in layers of dolomitic limestone or sandstone, below high cliffs where fogs condense on the plant’s leaves supplementing the sparse rainfall in the area.

Tylecodon singularis

It has a small tuberous rootstock that produces one (or occasionally two) large fleshy leaves which are almost circular and up to up to 20cm in diameter (Figs. 1 & 2). It is ideal to allow the leaf to hang over the side of the pot facing the winter sun to collect as much light as possible. Flowering takes place after the leaves have died down, prior to its resting period. The Inflorescence is 150-300mm tall and supports spikes of greenish-yellow flowers (Fig. 3).

In cultivation in the UK, it is a winter grower and depending on climatic conditions, usually produces growth from September to April, before flowering in May. With the extra water they receive in cultivation, some plants will produce a cluster of leaves. During their summer dormancy, they should be kept dry and are best placed under the bench out of direct sunlight to avoid scorch damage to the rootstock.

Tylecodon singularis

Derek Tribble

No part of this article may be reproduced without permission. Copyright BCSS & the Author 2021

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