Cylindrophyllum tugwelliae, sometimes called Tugwell’s vygie, is one of six species in this genus of clumping or tufted, succulent, Karoo perennials bearing cylindrical leaves.
Tugwell's vygie has large mesemb type flowers (5 cm across), borne on stalks of 1 cm to 2 cm. The flower's allure lies in its long petals arranged in a thin, often uneven whorl. They are cream, light pink or whitish, becoming paler as the flower ages.
In the flower centre there is a big cone of stamens and staminodes (rudimentary, sterile or underdeveloped stamens). The styles are awl-shaped and shorter than the stamens.
Flowers appear in spring and are open during the afternoon only.
The species distribution is in the Karoo, inland in the east of the Western Cape, from Laingsburg to Prince Albert.
The habitat is semi-arid karoid flats. The species is not considered to be threatened in its habitat early in the twenty first century.
The plants are sometimes mixed up with Bijlia tugwelliae that grows near Prince Albert, but that plant does not have cylindrical leaves and produces yellow flowers. They are also confused with Cephalophyllum species that have thinner leaves (Frandsen, 2017; Smith, et al, 1998; http://redlist.sanbi.org).