What is the name of this beautiful succulent

valeriev(z9 Bay Area CA)May 31, 2012

Hi everyone. I bought a really small succulent at a florist but they didn't know what the name of the plant was. I've had it a year and it's growing like a WEED! This photo is the "baby" of the original plant.

Does anyone know the name of this plant???

Thanks so much!

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Beachplants(Z11)

Cotyledon, maybe orbiculata.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 12:02PM
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cactusmcharris

Valerie,

I agree with Rian (Beachplants), it's a Cotyledon, which is a cousin to your garden variety jade plant (Crassula ovata) and supermarket Kalanchoe. They're all in the same Family (Crassulaceae), but they're not alone - these are from South Africa, but they have New World cousins, too.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 12:15PM
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rosemariero6(z10 /ss24 So. Calif.)

Sorry, guys, I'm not convinced this is Cotyledon orbiculata. The leaves do not look paired. Valerie, do you happen to have a pic of the original plant? I don't suppose it flowered for you in the last year?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 2:01PM
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bikerdoc5968 Z6 SE MI

I would have to agree with Rosemarie. It looks more like an Echeveria possibly a hybrid.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 2:10PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Gee, I thought it was Kalanchoe thyrsifolia.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 3:19PM
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birdsnblooms

I second, K. thrysifolia. Toni

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 3:23PM
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cactusmcharris

No, no, no, ladies and gent, it's a Cotyledon. Why this sort of question doesn't come up as a bar bet (possibly because we're not at a bar) I don't know - I'd never have to pay for a shot of El Patron again.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 3:27PM
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valeriev(z9 Bay Area CA)

Thank you for getting me closer and closer. :)

The mother plant looks just the same, just bigger, top heavy and more reddish leaves. Also, I should have mentioned, the mother plant flowered. It's a very weird flower. It's like a hanging tentacle that produces orange little starburst. flowers. (not the bell type flowers goggle images is showing me when I google cotyledon).

My friend calls it the "alien plant" because of the tentacles. Unfortunately, the wind knocked her over and her "tentacles" of flowers busted off.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 4:18PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

So Jeff, enlighten us pls. how does one distinguish btwn a Kalanchoe thrisifolia & this Cotyledon? They look so similar to me.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 4:24PM
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valeriev(z9 Bay Area CA)

This photo from a website looks, almost exactly like mine....however, my "tentacles" grow downward, not up, and the flowers don't cluster at the end, they are have was up the "tentacle".

http://www.cholmquistgardens.com/2009/12/exceptional-drought-tolerant-winter-bloomers-for-southern-california/cotyledon-orbiculata/

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 4:36PM
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valeriev(z9 Bay Area CA)

Ok, the flowers that mine produce look more like the ones that echeveria produce, in that, the flowers aren't clustered at the end, they are half way up the spike.

However, the echeveria leaves don't look like mine, the cotyledon do.

Perhaps it IS a hybrid???

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 4:42PM
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rosemariero6(z10 /ss24 So. Calif.)

This is a case where photos would really help out a lot!

If you say it had red edges on the leaves at some time, that could point to either Cotyledon or Kalanchoe luciae/thyriflora. But, the leaves do not look opposite to me, which both of the previous plants mentioned would have.

If you say the flowers do not look like those you've seen on pix of Cotyledon orbiculata, but look like tentacles growing downward...I wonder if you mean like the inflorescence shown in the photo below?

Click for larger view

If the blooms on the stalk looked like this (not the same flower, but how it grows), then it is likely an Echeveria.

How large is the pot in the pic?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 4:55PM
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valeriev(z9 Bay Area CA)

RoseMarie,

Yes, those are my exact flowers, they just didn't grow upwards, they grew down, hanging.

The leaves on this pix you provided don't look like mine, to me. Those leaves have a sort of "Tip" on the top of the leaves. Mine do not, they are just perfectly rounded.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 5:15PM
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rosemariero6(z10 /ss24 So. Calif.)

No, I didn't mean for it to be an example of your plant, Valerie...just the way Echeveria flower stalks grow. I was just trying to match up your "tentacle" description for starters. So, are you saying the stalks that held the flowers were like this but not upright? Maybe if they were heavy, they would do that.

You have no pix of the plant from before??

If your plant's leaves were a pale green, I'd guess it might be Echeveria pallida, but then, said they were orange flowers & that would rule that out.

Still leaning toward Echeveria. Need to know how large plant/pot is to narrow it down.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 6:07PM
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valeriev(z9 Bay Area CA)

RoseMarie,

This pot is 12" pot. The momma is in a 16-20" pot. I don't recall. I will post a pix of mama tomorrow. Unfortunately, I do not a photo of when it bloomed.

Yes, the stalks that held the flowers were like your photo, just not standing upright. Yes, blooms could have been too heavy, but I don't recall them ever trying to grow "towards" upright. Also, they are the same flowers in your photo; orange and burst like, not bell and not pink, like the Echeveria pallida.

As you can see from the second photo of mine, the stem is long and keeps getting taller (and top heavy at some point) and the leaves just fall off and die from the bottom, so I have to keep repotting them and cut off the root system. I just plug them back into fresh soil and they take off running again.

Like I said, a friend of mine calls it the "alien plant" because of the hanging "tentacls" and because of how I cut the roots off and repot and they just keep getting bigger.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 6:51PM
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cactusmcharris

Karen,

That plant has, IMO, much more roundly spatulate leaves than K. thrysiflora does - it also shows no signs of colouring up (which may be due to its environment) but IME Cotyledons keep their colour more so that Kalanchoes. Then there's the history - if I've not grown this plant, I've seen it grown, and I think it's a Cotyledon (I've been wrong before, and RoRo the Nomendamsel has rescued me before). Notice that I don't know Cotyledons nearly as well as I should, hence my reluctance to give it a full binomial.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 12:07PM
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Beachplants(Z11)

And I started it all....sorry Jeff!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 12:34PM
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cactusmcharris

Rian,

Nothing to be sorry about, and it's not your fault, but I'll still blame you!

No worries, mate - it's good that we rumple the fabric now and then - dissension is not automatically a bad thing, eh?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 12:44PM
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valeriev(z9 Bay Area CA)

Here's momma and baby. Baby is on the left. Momma on the right.

Momma: She's getting a new sprout.

Momma's base and new sprout

Full shot of momma, she's 13" wide

Full shot of baby, who is 10" wide

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 12:45PM
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lzrddr(91360)

I agree with first assessment- looks like an indoor version of Cotyledon orbiculata var. oblonga 'Macrantha' (sometimes just called Cotyledon macrantha). What I mean by that, is it looks different from plants grown outdoors in full sun, which is how I usually see these plants.
The leaves lack the rid rim along the edge I see in outdoor Cotyledon 'Macrantha's but it's stem lacks the bloom I typically see on the Kalanchoe species in question.

Here is a Cotyledon orbicualata var. oblonga 'Macrantha' growing in pot in Los Angeles area.

Here is show of plant growing in ground

Close up of flowers of Cotyledon orbiculata (all varieties and forms of this species have identical flowers, which is why, I guess, these incredibly dissimilar plants are all the same species)

Kalanchoe thyrsiflora is a pretty easy rule out as that species is extremely rare in cultivation, and 99.9% of all plants labeled as such are really Kalanchoe luciae. But I have to say, a Kalanchoe luciae grown indoors can sometimes look a bit like the above plant, though nearly always with a good deal of bloom on its stems. Below is a Kalanchoe luciae grown indoors in a mall... looks quite a bit different from outdoor plants (see further below).
Kalanchoe luciae

Kalanchoe luciae growing indoors in a mall... looks a bit different, but notice still the intense bloom (white powder) on the stem

Kalanchoe luciae growing in the ground in California

Kalanchoe luciae growing in ground in Florida

Kalanchoe luciae growing next to a Cotyledon orbiculata (though a white form of this species)

for 'fun', this is Kalanchoe luciae 'Fantastic', a nice variegated variety

for comparison, this is the REAL Kalanchoe thyrsiflora (only time I have ever seen this species anywhere)

showing some color, though not nearly as much color as K luciae can attain

If/when this plant flowers, you will certainly be able to tell then. Cotyledon orbiculata varieties have 5 petals of large, dangling orange flowers, while Kalanchoes have very different looking flowers (at least K luciae (super common) and thyrsiflora (super rare plant) do) with tiny white or yellow (depending on species) with four petals each on very tall (up to 4') upright stalks.

Kalanchoe luciae flowers

Kalanchoe thyrsiflora flowers (unfortunately came too early to see bloom, but I have seen them bloom- distinctly creamy yellow in color, compared to the off white color of K luciae)

plant in flower- K thyrsiflora

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 1:21PM
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valeriev(z9 Bay Area CA)

Great photos lzrddr! Thank you.

In all of the photos, the one that looks most similar to mine is the one growing in the indoor mall. The flowers and flower stalks on the other photos look nothing like mine.

These plants have always been outdoors. Only lil morning sun, through trees.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 1:33PM
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cactusmcharris

Geoff,

Thanks for the photos - they're always a treat and always showing them all.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 3:42PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Wow...Beautiful pictures everyone!! Lzrddr, gorgeous pictures!
Thanks for posting.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 4:57PM
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rosemariero6(z10 /ss24 So. Calif.)

Thanks, Jeff! You are too kind! :)

Great discussion & information, folks! Fabulous pix showing many differences between plants, Geoff!

Thanks for the additional pix, Valerie. From what I see, & from what you've told us...I believe your plant is an Echeveria. Now which species...or if a cultivar...I don't know. Taking into consideration you're growing it indoors, the color of the plant as well as the droopy inflorescences make sense. Red edges on the leaves when it gets more sun also can occur with Echeveria. Seeing Mama plant with what looks like a new inflorescence forming with leaves on it...also says Echeveria to me.

It's true the leaves by themselves look very similar to Cotyledon orbiculata var. oblonga 'Macrantha', but if the blooms were not the shape of the one pictured below (but a darker orange), it can't be that. The leaves are your plant are larger, also seeming to point to an Echeveria hybrid.

Why I don't think it is either Cotyledon or Kalanchoe: both those plants have paired leaves (opposite each other). Your plant does not. Your plant also has no bloom (white, dusty powder) on either the leaves or the stem, so it's not Kalanchoe (luciae or thyrsiflora). You say the blooms don't look like those you've seen for Cotyledon, so that eliminates it. You say your plants' blooms look like Echeveria blooms you've seen, but the bloom stalk was laying down, which could be attributed to indoor culture.

Is this sounding about right so far?

Now...to wait a few weeks for that inflorescence to grow & see what blooms come of it!! =)

Do any of these shown below look like the blooms you had before?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 7:14PM
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rosemariero6(z10 /ss24 So. Calif.)

Goof on my part-I see now you said your plants are outdoors, but with little morning sun. So a shaded situation (similar to indoors).

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 7:21PM
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valeriev(z9 Bay Area CA)

Thank u rosemarie. Yes, the blooms in the middle pix of echeveria look like my blooms.

Makes since too cuz when I got at the nursery it was starting to bloom and she had it inside.

I'll let u know how the new growth turns out. Thank u again everyone.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 8:44PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

It looks something like a hybrid Echeveria called 'Pappy's Rose', not quite, but similar.

I see a lot of hybrid Echeverias sold nowadays, the most interesting ones go into mass production, the less spectacular ones here and there for sale, perhaps it is one of those. Tough to ID because indoor growing changes the appearance so much!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2012 at 10:57AM
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