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Current Photo: CC1291
Available Photos: CC1291 CC1381 CC1392 (click to change photo)
Photographer's Comments: 35mm slide.
Species: orbiculata (undulata)
Authority: (Haw.) D.C. 1828
Variety: var. oblongata
Date Added: 2003-04-19
Entered By: Paul Brunelle
Cotyledon oblongata Haw. 1812,
C. undulata Haw. 1819.
This delightful, small, pure white floury perennial shrub is widely distributed in cultivation, but its exact habitat in Cape Province, South Africa is no longer known.
Silver Crown is easily grown from cuttings and seed but it is not easy to have it reach its normal African size of up to 50cm (20") tall in Canada. Noted for its pure white leaves with distinctive, undulate margins, its flowers, orange and yellow outside with a touch of red and red inside, are borne in a high panicle in Spring and Summer. This plant was 17 years old when we lost it in 2003.
Although long known as a separate species, Cotyledon undulata is very aptly named for anyone looking at its very undulate leaf margins, this plant has now been sunk to synonymy under C. orbiculata, var. oblongata, as in the title here, with no mention of pure white leaves, or undulate leaf margins. Now appearing as well, however, are cultivars, like 'Bunny Ears" with green, undulate margined leaves. These and other cultivars are listed by E. van Jaarsveld, a noted authority, in Eggli (2003c) as "recognized now", as if cultivars have the same status as subspecies, varieties, forma, etc. This is new to me and I have seen it nowhere else. I mention it because it hints at the degree of change that we are facing now in the new taxonomy. Certainly it is making my task of modernizing my collection's nomenclature very onerous indeed.