To this genus of succulent plants belong more than one hundred species of grasses and shrubs with prostrate or erect stems, often richly ramified, carrying fleshy leaves (the name comes from the Latin “crassus”, which means “fat” due to the nature of the leaves), opposite or welded to the base (amplessicauli).
The flowers, usually small, are at the apex of inflorescences called “cymes”, and are provided of five petals and five stamina, mostly white, possibly shaded of pink. The cultivated plants are native, almost all, to southern Africa. Many of these succulent plants are able to tolerate a limited cold and usually tolerate well the drought; the propagation happens by stem, branches or leaf cutting.
Jade Plant, The Best Known Of This Succulent Plant Species
From the Eastern Cape, in South Africa, comes the Crassula ovata: this succulent with erect stem, much ramified and robust, tall up to 2,5 meters, with pale green leaves, fleshy, of ovate shape, has a rich flowering in winter, covering its leaves with small pinkish-white flowers.
Its climatic requirements include resistance to cold down to -4°C and exposure to the sun or partial shade (in total shade it blooms little or nothing).
This plant finds its right place in medium or large pots, on balconies or in the garden, next to the entrance or isolated in the middle of a flowerbed; in composition with other smaller succulents such as Mammillaria, mesembriantemi, Sedum and other crassulae.
Appreciable for the same uses is a form called “monstruosa”, which stands out for its cylindrical leaves or with the flaps partially folded towards their centre.
Silver Dollar Plant
Small succulent shrub whose scientific name is Crassula arborescens, has a foliage up to 1 meter wide and 3 meters tall, equipped with fleshy ramified stems and succulent leaves, long up to 6 centimeters, ovate, opposite, of green-grey color, pruinose, with very characteristic red margins. The flowering period is slightly later than the previous species, between late winter and early spring. The flowers are beautiful, pinkish-white in color, with a diameter of about 2 centimeters.
The color of the leaves allows an elegant combination with succulent dark green foliage or stem such as some species of Aeonium, Euphorbia and Agave of small size.
The Rarest, Smallest And Most Unusual Succulent Plants
Crassula mesembryamenthoides, with elongated and softly hairy leaves, no taller than 50 cm, Crassula muscosa with leaves arranged in overlapping rows, Crassula perforated with finely toothed margin, red and rows of dots of the same color inside, Crassula socialis only 6 cm tall with white flowers in red center.