Cotyledon tomentosa-Bears Paw ‘Shake’™

Cotyledon tomentosa-Bears Paw (aka ‘Shake’) on 5-31-12, #95-8.

Bear’s Paw

Cotyledon tomentosa ‘Shake’™

kot-EE-lee-don toh-men-toh-suh


Cotyledon tomentosa ssp. tomentosa

Cotyledon tomentosa Harv. is the correct and accepted name for this species of Cotyledon. It was first described by William Henry Harvey in Flora Capensis in 1862.

Cotyledon tomentosa subsp. ladismithiensis (Poelln.) Toelken is an accepted infraspecific name. It was named and described as such by Hellmut R. Toelken in Bothalia in 1977. It was first named and described as Cotyledon ladismithiensis by Karl von Poellnitz. It is said to be similar to the species but with stronger branches.

The genus, Cotyledon L., was named and described by Carl von Linnaeus in the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753. Plants of the World Online currently 15 accepted species in the Cotyledon genus (as of when this page was updated on 11-6-18).

I was given my Cotyledon tomentosa ‘Shake’ by the owner of Pleasant Acres Nursery in Leland, Mississippi in May 2012. The plant was amazing and did very well throughout the summer, but winter found its demise…

In 2013 I became acquainted with an expert of the Crassulaceae family. She told me this plant was a Cotyledon tomentosa subsp. tomentosa. She further said that the cultivar name ‘Shake’ was just an industry name, not a cultivar name, and should not be used. Well, she is an older lady and an expert. Now folks, calling Margrit Bischofberger an expert is a complete understatement… I sent her photos of all my plants that were in the Crassulaceae family and she corrected many names. Her amazing website is the International Crassulaceae Network. She is not young and my recent emails to her have gone unanswered. I am not sure if her website is still maintained. Anyway, according to Proven Winner’s, ‘Shake’ is a registered trademark. Cotyledon tomentosa subsp. tomentosa is now considered a synonym of Cotyledon tomentosa according to Plants of the World Online and Llifle (and most other plant databases). Of course, this could change at any moment…

I am not going to argue with any botanist, horticulturalist or expert about plant taxonomy because I am none of those. I am just a collector and blogger and that’s it. I do name and author research and hopefully what I share is correct.


Cotyledon tomentosa on 8-10-12, #114-35. I was using a friends camera and the brightness settings were not correct.

Cotyledon are summer dormant succulents which means they do most of their growing in the spring and fall of the year. They have marginal growth in the winter are dormant in the summer. I think during that time the roots regrow or something. During their growing period, they should be watered thoroughly only when the soil is dry. Water very sparingly during the cooler months because when the soil is cool and damp their roots will rot.

Growing some succulents in the house overwinter can be quite tricky, especially members of this family. If they are not given enough light, their leaves and stems will stretch out of shape. Honestly, I enjoy growing many members of the Crassulaceae family, but growing them in improper winter conditions is not worth it… Someday I will have a greenhouse or maybe try using grow lights over the winter.

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant.

Plants of the World Online (Genus/Species)
Llifle(Encyclopedia of Living Forms)

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