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November 2011 Plant Highlight: Glottiphyllum linguiforme

by Brian Kemble

Image of G. linguiforme   Image of G. linguiforme flower

Glottiphyllum is a genus in the Ice Plant Family (Aizoaceae), with all the species coming from the southern part of South Africa.  The book Vygies, published in 2000, lists 16 species (“vygies” is a South African term for ice plants).  Almost all of these have bright yellow flowers, though white-flowered variants are known for some species.  The name Glottiphyllum means “tongue leaf”, and indeed most of the species are characterized by fleshy, flexible tongue-like leaves.

Glottiphyllum linguiforme comes from the Little Karoo, an arid region to the east of Cape Town which is home to many of the species in the genus.  It has green or grayish-green leaves, and typically these are about 1¼ to 1¾ in wide (32 to 45 mm) by about 2½ inches long (63 mm).  However, in robust specimens such as ours at the Ruth Bancroft Garden, they may be as much as 3 inches wide (75 mm) and up to about 5 inches long (125 mm).  The leaves are distichously arranged (stacked one atop the other on either side of the growing tip).  Like many species of Glottiphyllum, it is clump-forming, and its stems extend outward along the ground as it grows.

The large yellow flowers of G. linguiforme are produced in fall, beginning at the Ruth Bancroft Garden in October and ending in December.  With their long narrow radiating petals, they look somewhat daisy-like, although the ice plant family is not at all closely related to the daisy family.

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Mission Statement
The mission of the Ruth Bancroft Garden, Inc. is to preserve this exceptional example of garden design and to continue to develop its collection of water-conserving plants for the education and enjoyment of the public.
 
Grant Funders

The Ruth Bancroft Garden would like to recognize the following grant funders:

The Quest Foundation for funding our Education Coordinator’s position

The Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust for funding our directional signs.

The California Horticultural Society for funding towards our restoration projects.

 
 
 
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