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Crassula columnaris (Upright Crassula)


Scientific Name

Crassula columnaris L.f.

Common Names

Khaki Button, Scent Bottle, Upright Crassula, locally known as Koesnaatjie


Crassula columnaris subsp. columnaris, Crassula mitrata, Tetraphyle columnaris

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Crassuloideae
Genus: Crassula


This species is native to South Africa and Namibia.


Crassula columnaris is a dwarf succulent with a short, erect stem completely hidden by 8 to 10 tightly packed leaf pairs, forming a tapering columnar body. It grows up to 4 inches (10 cm) tall, up to 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) in diameter, solitary, or spreads into small clusters by branching below ground. Leaves are brownish-green, up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) long, up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) wide, and have a rounded tip. Flowers are white, pale yellow, often tinged with red, and appear in winter or early spring clustered in a compact, round head at the top of the plant. This species is monocarpic. It takes several years to mature and die after flowering.

The specific epithet "columnaris" derives from a Latin word meaning "column-like" and refers to the growth habit of the species.

Crassula columnaris (Upright Crassula)

Photo by Karoopixie

How to Grow and Care for Crassula columnaris

Light: Crassula plants prefer full sun to partial shade. However, intense afternoon sun in the hottest period of summer can burn the leaves of the plants. Most Crassulas can be grown indoors if given enough light.

Soil: They are not particular about soil pH, but Crassulas require very porous soil with excellent drainage.

Hardiness: Crassula columnaris can withstand temperatures as low as 20 to 50 °F (-6.7 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b.

Watering: These plants have typical watering needs for succulents. Avoid overwatering by using the "soak and dry" method, where the soil is soaked with water, slowly drained, and left to dry out before watering again. Reduce watering in winter.

Fertilizing: Crassulas will benefit from a small amount of organic fertilizer in mid-spring when they start actively growing.

Repotting: Repot as needed, preferably in spring, at the beginning of a period of active growth.

Propagation: Crassulas are generally started by leaves or stem cuttings. They can also be grown from seeds and offsets.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Crassula.

Toxicity of Crassula columnaris

Crassula plants are generally nontoxic to people and pets.


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