Crassula barbata Thunb.
Crassula barbata subsp. barbata, Crassula lettyae, Purgosea barbata
This species is native to South Africa. It occurs from Calvinia to Oudtshoorn, and Great Karoo near Victoria West, growing on rocky slopes, usually sheltering under bushes.
Crassula barbata is a biennial or annual succulent that forms a basal rosette of smooth, green to grey-green leaves with long white marginal cilia. It grows up 1.2 inches (3 cm) tall (excluding inflorescence), usually solitary or proliferating from the base to form a small clump. The leaves are obovate to almost circular, up to 1.4 inches (4 cm) long and up to 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) wide. The old ones remain attached to stems. An up to 1 foot (30 cm) tall spike-like inflorescence with small, white to pinkish flowers appears in spring. The plan is monocarpic, meaning the rosette will die after flowering. Fortunately, the dying rosette usually produces several basal rosettes that can be detached and grown on to repeat the cycle.
It is grown as an annual plant, so it has no USDA hardiness zone.
How to Grow and Care
Crassulas are easy to grow, but they are susceptible to mealy bugs and fungal diseases. As with all succulents, overwatering is sure to be fatal, so err on the side of too dry rather than too wet. Never let your plant sit in water. If you water from beneath by letting the plant sit in a saucer of water, make sure to pour off any excess water after a few minutes.
These succulents are generally started by division, offsets, or leaf cuttings. Crassulas can be easily propagated from a single leaf. Sprout leaves by placing them into a potting mix for succulents, then covering the dish until they sprout.
Repot as needed, preferably during the warm season. To repot your Crassula,ensuree the soil is dry before repotting, then gently remove the pot. Knock away the old soil from the roots, removing any rotted or dead roots in the process. Treat any cuts with a fungicide. Place the plant in its new pot and backfill it with potting soil, spreading the roots as you repot. Leave the plant dry for a week or so, then begin to water lightly to reduce the risk of root rot.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Crassula.
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