Herbs & Plants

Cotyledon orbiculata

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Botanical Name : Cotyledon orbiculata
Family: Crassulaceae
Genus: Cotyledon
Species: C. orbiculata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Saxifragales

Common Name :Pig’s Ear or Round-leafed Navel-wort

Habitat :Native to South Africa, it is popular in gardens in many countries. In the wild, it grows naturally in rocky outcrops in grassy shrubland and the Karoo region. In New Zealand, it is considered an invasive plant and is listed on the National Pest Plant Accord.

Cotyledon orbiculata is an extremely variable species that grows to approximately 1.3 m (4.3 ft) in height. It has gray-green leaves that can be up to 13 by 7 cm (5.1 by 2.8 in) with a white powdery substance on them that helps reflect sunlight and conserve water. The shape of the leaves was thought to have a resemblance to a pig’s ear, thus the common name. The bell-shaped flowers are small, usually less than 3 cm (1.2 in) in length, and droop from the top of a 60 cm (24 in) tall stalk. The flowers are usually orange-red but yellow varieties also exist.


Medicinal Uses
Cotyledon orbiculata has a number of medicinal uses. In South Africa, the fleshy part of the leaf is applied to warts and corns. Heated leaves are used as poultices for boils and other inflammations. Single leaves may be eaten as a vermifuge and the juice has been used to treat epilepsy.

Excellent wart remedy, widely recommended even by medical doctors in South Africa.  Works on pets too.  Thick fleshy, grey-green leaves are sliced lengthwise and placed cut side on the wart for 8-12 hours daily.  The Southern Sotho use a dried leaf as a protective charm for an orphan child and as a plaything. In the Willowmore District, the heated leaf is used as a poultice for boils and other accessible inflammations, in particular, earache.  A single leaf is eaten as a vermifuge and the warmed juice can be used as drops for toothache or earache. The juice has been used to treat epilepsy.

Known Hazards: The leaves contain a bufanolide called cotyledontoxin, which is toxic to sheep, goats, horses, cattle, poultry, and dogs, causing a condition known as cotyledonosis

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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