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.
1,000 Types of Succulents With Pictures
This varied genus contains about 300 species of one-year-old or perennial, 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 thick leaf family, which also includes other known succulent genera such as Sedum, Kalanchoe, Aeonium, Sempervivum and Echeveria, has its name, Crassulaceae, of this genus.
Crassula Lower Classifications
Also called the sand-coated crassula, the Crassula alpestris is a flowering plant species that belongs to the Crassulaceae family. A native to South Africa, the dwarf perennial succulent is rather short-lived.
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
The Crassula ausensis is native to Namibia. These plants are quite short and remain close to the ground, although the flower stalk can grow a bit taller than the usual height, measuring up to 3 inches.
The Crassula barklyi plant is also called the Rattlesnake Tail plant and is native to South Africa. This plant has unique stems that are all covered by leaves that tend to overlay each other, making each stem appear like a ridged cylinder.
The Crassula brevifolia is a small succulent plant that bears multiple branches. It grows in the form of a shrub and each branch further produces wide, thick and triangular-shaped leaves. They are quite small in size.
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 cephalophora is a small succulent shrub with thick paddle-shaped leaves. The leaves are light or lime green in color and covered in small white hairs, which gives them a silvery sheen.
Crassula clavata is a small yet striking succulent with deep red leaves. The leaves are densely packed in mounds and the plant only grows 4 inches tall. The leaves are quite chunky and shaped like clubs.
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 columella is a succulent with short stems fully covered with densely packed leaves. The leaves are very small and grow in a column in all 4 directions. They are velvety to the touch and reach a height of 6 inches.
Crassula columnaris or Upright Crassula is also known as khaki button or scent bottle. It originated in Namibia and South Africa.
Crassula commutata is a miniature succulent with slim stems that grow many branches. The stem and branches are completely covered with light green triangular leaves. The leaves are reddish at the edges and can turn yellow during the summers.
Crassula conjuncta is a small succulent that mostly grows vertically. It is native to South Africa and grows in a rocky medium. It usually has many branches densely packed with small triangular leaves.
Crassula cornuta is a small-sized succulent growing in tightly packed stems. The leaves are triangular and very thick. They are densely packed along the stems, giving the stem a columnar appearance.
Crassula corymbulosa is a distinctive succulent originating in South Africa and Namibia. The stems reach a length of 8 inches and are stacked with triangular leaves arranged in a pagoda structure.
Varieties of Crassula corymbulosa:
Crassula Sharks Tooth
Crassula deceptor is a dwarf succulent originating in Namibia and South Africa. It has thick, fleshy leaves packed in an overlapping manner in the stem and branches. It grows to a height of 6 inches. The stems are quite short and branch out at the base.
Crassula dubia originated in South Africa and is also called paddle succulent. This is due to its flat, paddle-shaped leaves.
Crassula elegans is a dwarf succulent with a maximum height of 3.2 inches. It has a short stem but grows a wide network of branches, quickly sprawling over its container. The leaves are vivid green and oval in shape, but they have a triangular width.
Crassula exilis is a small-sized succulent originating from South Africa. They reach a height of 1.5 inches at the most. The leaves grow in tightly packed rosettes and are about 2 inches long. The leaves are green and speckled with dark green dimples.
Crassula falcata is a gorgeous succulent with a very vivid, contrasting color scheme. The leaves are dull green and sickle shaped. They overlap each other on the stems and look like plane propellers, which is why Crassula falcata is also known as ‘airplane plant’.
Crassula Ivory Pagoda
Crassula Ivory Pagoda is a small-sized hybrid succulent. Its name refers to the columnar structure the leaves grow in. Their unique texture makes the leaves appear frosty white and they are closely packed together in an overlapping pattern.
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 mesembryanthemopsis is a South African succulent suited to grow in hot climates. The stem of this plant is underground and the leaves are dark green, thick and tubular or shaped like a club.
Crassula ‘Morgan’s Beauty’
This succulent is also known as Crassula Morgan’s Pink. 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 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 nudicaulis tends to grow pretty close to the ground and only manages to reach a height of around 5 inches. Native to South Africa, this plant has a thick taproot and thick but flattened leaves that usually grow in rosettes.
The leaves also have small hair and tend to be green and brownish in color. The flowers usually grow in spring and summer and are green, yellow or white in color.
Varieties of Crassula nudicaulis:
Crassula platyphylla (Crassula nudicaulis var. platyphylla)
Crassula obvallata mainly grows in South Africa but it is now quite popular as a houseplant worldwide. The leaves of this plant grow in a rosette and tend to be minor, thick and generally flat throughout the surface. While generally silver-green, the leaves can sometimes develop a reddish or purplish hue towards the edges or even across the surface.
Crassula orbicularis is native to South Africa and is mainly known for its fleshy green leaves that grow on the stems. Multiple leaves usually tend to grow around a single branch, making them appear like a rose.
These leaves are usually around 4 inches long and as they grow, the plant tends to look like a group of clumps. The flowers of this plant are white in color but can also have a bit of pink and yellow.
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 Pangolin has intersecting or overlapping leaves that go on to form multiple stem-like structures. These then go on to grow to a certain height and continue to mature for several years until they are ready for flowering.
The flowers that bloom at the tips of these leaf structures are quite large and round and white in color. The leaves themselves are gray-green in color.
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.
The Crassula picturata species is native to South Africa. It is quite small in size, making it a dwarf succulent. It comprises several stems that branch out into fleshy and triangular leaves that grow in layers like a rosette. The leaves are pale or dark green in color and also have several dark spots on the surface.
The flowers are quite tiny too and are pink or white in color and bloom in the summer and fall months.
Crassula plegmatoides are shrub-like succulents that tend to grow in columnar structures, not in the form of a stem but because the leaves layer on top of each other to form a dense column. The leaves are slightly rounded, making it easier for them to stack together to form the shape.
This plant has off-white or cream flowers that bloom towards the end of summer and into fall.
Crassula pruinosa is a species that mainly grows in South Africa. It grows in the form of a shrub with several thin branches resulting in small but fleshy green leaves with plenty of hair on the surface. The shrub remains small in size throughout its lifespan, reaching a height of around 8 inches once it becomes mature.
This plant has white and pink flowers that usually bloom throughout the months of summer.
The Crassula pyramidalis species has small and bright green fleshy leaves layered on top of each other to form columns around the stem. This makes for a unique appearance since the stems in this case are barely visible. The tips of these columns often also tend to turn pink due to exposure to the sun.
Additionally, this plant species that is native to South Africa blooms forth flowers that are white and pink in color, although these are not always visible either.
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.
Varieties of Crassula rupestris:
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
- Width: unlimited.
- Temperature: at least 5 ° C
Crassula socialis is a small succulent that forms dense cushions of numerous rosettes with four rows of green leaves with a red flush. It grows up to 6 cm tall when in flower. Rosettes are up to 2 cm in diameter.
The leaves are flat with an ovate to an almost circular shape and usually pointing downward. The slender inflorescences are sometimes branched and up to 6 cm long. Flowers are white, cup-shaped, and appear in spring.
Crassula streyi (Pondo Cliff Crassula)
The strong contrast of the differently colored leaf areas makes the Crassula streyi 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 susannae is a small succulent that is mainly native to Little Namaqualand in South Africa. This plant grows quite slowly and can manage to reach a height of up to 6 inches. It has small but fleshy leaves that grow in the form of small rosettes, with the plant having numerous such rosettes.
The flowers of this plant appear in fall and spring and are usually white in color.
Crassula tecta is also commonly called the Lizard Skin Crassula. This is a small species that is native to Cape Province in South Africa. The plant features a rosette of leaves that are blue-green in color while also being broad and fleshy.
Each leaf additionally has several small white spots or bumps that cover the entire surface. The flowers additionally bloom in the months of spring and are white in color with a bit of yellow.
Crassula tetragona (Miniature Pine Tree)
This multi-stemmed succulent from the southeastern 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
- Width: unlimited
- Temperature: at least 5 °C
Crassula volkensii is a species that tends to grow as a shrub. This plant is native to Tanzania and Kenya and features several small rosettes of leaves. The leaves are additionally short, triangular and fleshy. They are dark green in color with purple-red spots across the surface and a border in this color too.
The plant can achieve a height of up to 6 inches, thus remaining relatively short but clustered. The flowers are white and pink in color.