The Pig’s Ear Cotelydon is an indigenous South African succulent plant that is loved by gardeners for its easy cultivation, frugal water requirements, interesting leaves and beautiful flowers. Its common name is derived from the shape of its grey-green leaves. It occurs throughout South Africa, but it grows best in rocky ground in the karoo, grassland and fynbos regions.
Pig’s Ear plants grow to 1.5m in height and the clusters of beautiful bell-shaped flowers, attached to stalks up to 60cm tall, are carried during the dry season – winter in areas receiving summer rainfall and inversely for the parts receiving winter and year-round rainfall. These flowers are rich in nectar and attract pollinators ranging from bees and butterflies to birds.
In traditional medicine the leaves are used to treat toothache, earache, boils, intestinal parasites and corns and warts.