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A picture of a Pig's Ears

Pig's Ears

Cotyledon orbiculata

Also known as

Cotyledon, Plakkie, Platjies, Varkoorblare, Varkoor, Kouterie (Afr.), Imphewula (isiXhosa), Ipewula (isiZulu)

Photo by Going.Local (All rights reserved)

Full Sun
Easy care
Light watering


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size








2 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Pig's Ears

A colorful bird perched on a tree branch
Cotyledon orbiculata
Leaves vary in colour
G Nichols
A photo of Pig's Ears

Pig's Ears Overview

Cotyledon orbiculata is a low growing succulent plant from the Crassulaceae family. It produces rounded grey-green leaves with a red margin. Flowers are bell shaped and orange-red in colour. Flowering mainly from winter to springtime, but can flower throughout the year. A great pot plant as it is drought resistant and can tolerate light shade for part of the day. ZA Distribution: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, Northern Cape, Western Cape.

Common problems with Pig's Ears

Snout beetles can nibble holes in leaves. Slugs and snails can damage leaves.

Pig's Ears Companion Plants

Other succulents; like crassulas.

How to harvest Pig's Ears

Not harvested, pick as needed for medicinal purposes.

How to propagate Pig's Ears


Sow seed in autumn as winter rain season starts.


Take cuttings from a few leaves attached to a stem and replant the stem in well-draining sand mix.

Special features of Pig's Ears

Attracts useful insects

Bees are at tot eh flowers.

Drought resistant

Can go for extended periods without water.

Pot plant

Grow well in pots.

Attracts birds

Attracts bees

Other uses of Pig's Ears

Ornamental, container, indoors, greenhouse


This is a well-known medicinal plant. The fleshy part of the leaf is applied by many South Africans to soften and remove hard corns and warts. In the Willowmore District, the heated leaf is used as a poultice for boils and other accessible inflammations, earache in particular .


An excellent addition to rockeries and dry flower beds.


Perennials | Indigenous

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