Crassula (thick leaf) is the name for a species-rich plant genus from the family of thick leaf plants (Crassulaceae). The genus Crassula includes succulent plants in different shapes and sizes. This article looks into the crassula lower classifications and their general care.
This varied genus contains about 300 species of one-year-old or perennarian, evergreen succulents, which are mostly shrubs. A few succulent species are common all over the world, but the majority are confined to southern Africa. They vary in appearance from small and flat-growing or perennial plants to upright 3.5 m tall, upright shrubs. A consistent feature are the counter-resistant leaves, whose leaf bases sometimes touch around the stem. The rarely conspicuous flowers stand in terminal grapes or risps.
The large family of the thickleaf family, which also includes other known succulent genera such as Sedum, Kalanchoe, Aeonium, Sempervivum and Echeveria, has its name, Crassulaceae, of this genus.
- 1 Popular Crassula Lower Classifications
- 1.1 Crassula ovata (Jade Plant)
- 1.2 Crassula arborescens (Silver Jade Plant)
- 1.3 Crassula tetragona (Miniature Pine Tree)
- 1.4 Crassula coccinea (Red Crassula)
- 1.5 Crassula perfoliata (Propeller plant)
- 1.6 Crassula streyi (Pondo Cliff Crassula)
- 1.7 Crassula ‘Morgan’s Beauty’
- 1.8 Crassula schmidtii (Fairy Tongue)
- 1.9 Crassula capitella
- 1.10 Crassula lactea (Taylor’s Parches)
- 1.11 Crassula muscosa (Watch Chain)
- 1.12 Crassula rupestris (String of Buttons)
Popular Crassula Lower Classifications
Crassula ovata (Jade Plant)
This South African species should not be confused with Portulacaria afra, which is also called the jade plant, but has no opposite and much smaller leaves. Crassula ovata is also often confused with Crassula arborescens. It is a fast-growing, succulent shrub that can reach 2 m high, but usually reaches 60-90 cm. It has thick, brown branches and shiny, broad, wedge-shaped leaves that may be red-rimmed.
The species prefers full sunlight and is suitable as a container plant. ‘Hobbit’ is a small form of culture. When properly fertilized and watered in summer, this tree-like succulent produces inflorescences densely covered with white flowers from late autumn to winter. Remove old leaves after topiary in spring.
Height: 5 m
Width: 1.5 m
Temperature: at least 5 °C
Crassula arborescens (Silver Jade Plant)
Crassula arborescens, which is widespread in South Africa and the summer humid areas of East Africa, can grow taller than 3 m and as wide, although it usually only reaches 60-90 cm in culture. It is a richly branched shrub with thick, brown branches and red-edged, almost round, about 4 cm large leaves that are covered by a blue-gray layer and speckled with small, dark green spots. In autumn and winter it bears panicles with small, star-shaped, light pink flowers.
It is a popular, undemanding container plant for any sunny location. A species often referred to as Crassula arborescens is actually Crassula ovata (Jade Plant). In the sunny location, the round, waxy, bluish leaves are red-rimmed. Cut back regularly so that overhanging shoots do not become too heavy.
The variegated-leaved variety Crassula arborescens ‘Variegata’ has, in contrast to the original form, a slightly yellowish leaf pattern and grows considerably more slowly.
Height: 3 m
Width: 1.2 m
Temperature: at least 5 °C
Crassula tetragona (Miniature Pine Tree)
This multi-stemmed succulent from the south-eastern coast of South Africa is about 60 cm high. The leaves are about 2.5 cm long, almost round in cross-section and curved upwards to a point. They are arranged in four vertical rows. Tiny beige-colored flowers appear in short inflorescences in spring and summer.
In areas with a mild climate, the species becomes naturalized only gradually by colonizing areas of 3-6 square meters through self-reproduction by means of fallen leaves over several years. When young, the small, upright, light-hungry shrub with its shiny, needle-like leaves is reminiscent of conifers; it is well suited for miniature gardens. Small white flowers in autumn. Prune to prevent spreading after flowering.
Height: 60 cm
Temperature: at least 5 °C
Crassula coccinea (Red Crassula)
This succulent, perennial species from the mountains of the South African Cape Province grows up to 60 cm high and is bred for its magnificent flowers. It branches out into several branches at the base. The short, green, densely packed leaves are sometimes tinged with red.
In late summer and autumn it bears numerous tubular, dark red flowers in dense, round panicles. It needs full sunlight and does well in warm, dry spots in the rock garden. In late winter, the branches should be cut back to the base.
Crassula perfoliata (Propeller plant)
This interesting species from south-eastern South Africa is very variable, and some varieties were previously classified as separate species. The branches are upright, branch off from the base and reach a height of about 1 m. The long, fleshy leaves are arranged opposite one another. With Crassula perfoliata var. perfoliata they are green, furrowed, 10-15 cm long and drooping. They are on different levels. At Crassula perfoliata var. minor (also known as Crassula falcata) they are light gray-green and shaped like curved knife blades that stand on the cutting edge. The leaves are overlapped at the base and all pushed into one plane. Dense, terminal panicles with pretty, dark red flowers appear in summer.
Crassula streyi (Pondo Cliff Crassula)
The strong contrast of the differently colored leaf areas makes this plant a showpiece. In a shady location, the glossy leaves are dark green on top and wine red on the underside; in the sun the foliage becomes dull and cloudy. Inflorescences with white flowers appear in autumn. Shoots prostrate, forming flat pads.
Height: 30 cm
Width: 2 m
Temperature: at least 10 °C
Crassula ‘Morgan’s Beauty’
The winter flowers of this slowly growing hybrid are among the most beautiful of the genus; they form a nice contrast to the silvery foliage. Water sparingly in winter, divide large pads to prevent rot. Likes sun and shade.
Height: 13 cm
Width: 90 cm
Temperature: at least 10 ° C
Crassula schmidtii (Fairy Tongue)
The small species is an ideal winter-flowering pot plant; it has tiny, sometimes red-spotted leaves and light pink to red flowers. Rapidly matting; Remove dead flowers. Prefers partial shade, resents damp cold.
Height: 10 cm
Temperature: at least 5 ° C
This subshrub from South Africa comes in many forms; some subspecies were considered to be distinct species until recently. Its narrow, furrowed leaves are dotted with red and form a rosette. A slender, up to 45 cm high flower stalk grows out of its center and bears light pink flowers in spring and summer. ‘Campfire’ is a cultivated form with red foliage.
Crassula lactea (Taylor’s Parches)
Crassula lactea is one of the easiest thick leaf species to cultivate. The shrub, which is up to 70 cm high, has spreading, downward-sloping branches. The oval, dark green colored and white spotted leaves reach a length of about 5 cm. In winter, cymes form from relatively large individual flowers.
Crassula muscosa (Watch Chain)
Crassula muscosa, also called Crassula lycopodioides, grows as a small, heavily branching plant. The fleshy, tiny, pointed leaves that are arranged like roof tiles grow out of the slender, upright shoots. The yellow colored, inconspicuous flowers grow singly or in pairs. This succulent plant only reaches a height of about 25 cm in home culture.
Crassula rupestris (String of Buttons)
Crassula rupestris is a small-growing succulent plant with long stems lying on the ground and about 2 cm large, fleshy, blue-gray colored and egg-shaped leaves. In summer, small yellow-colored flowers form on wide cymes.