|FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What plants are related to Adromischus?
genus Adromischus is part of the family Crassulaceae, one of very few families that
consists almost entirely of succulent plants. For a recent technical
view about how the Crassulaceae fits with
other families as part of the Saxifragales
and other higher orders of seed plant classification, visit the Angiosperm Phylogeny
Website by P. F. Stevens.
the Crassulaceae was split into six
subfamilies (Berger 1930). Recent molecular studies reveal seven clades
(Mark Mort et al. in Am. J. Bot. 88:1 (2001) p. 76-91). The
Southern African genera Cotyledon
and Tylecodon are most closely related to Adromischus,
with the Eastern African and Madagascan genera Bryophyllum, Kalanchoe
and Kitchingia completing the clade.
the genus Cotyledon Linnaeus (1753) was
described first. Adromischus Lemaire
(1852) was not widely used for a long time and the earlier species were
described as Cotyledon. Included within Adromischus
were a few species of Tylecodon Tölken (1978), before it was separated.
with 29 described species, contains squat to spreading, dwarf to small
subshrubs with perennial, alternate leaves and a rarely-branched
spike-like inflorescence with erect, spreading flowers (except pendant
in A. phillipsiae). Commonly called
"Kleinplakkies" or "Bontplakkies" in Afrikaans.
The widespread Cotyledon orbiculata, about 18" (45
cm.) high in the Little Karoo, W. Ladismith.
now with only 11 species, contains small, woody shrubs with opposite
(or tri-merous), perennial leaves and a branched inflorescence with
pendent flowers when open. Their centre of diversity is in the Eastern
Cape but one species (C. barbeyi) has a
distribution from South Africa to East Africa. Generally, they are
rather large for pot cultivation where heating is needed. Commonly
called "Plakkies" in Afrikaans and some are known to be poisonous to
Tylecodon longipes, in a 2" (5 cm.)
pot, from the TL, Kloof of Caves, Richtersveld.
It flowers in the summer after the leaves have shrivelled.
Tylecodon with about 45 species,
contains pachycaul, dwarf geophytes to shrubs (to scramblers) with
deciduous, alternate leaves and a branched inflorescence with usually
erect flowers when open. All are from Namibia and South Africa, with a
centre of diversity in Namaqualand. New species are still being found.
They are very suitable for pot cultivation, but slow to propagate.
information about Cotyledons and Tylecodons can be found in the book by van Jaarsveld & Koutnik. There is an interesting
article on-line about the pollination of Tylecodons from Veld & Flora (1998) and a photo gallery by Robert Maijer.