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Crassula elegans (Elegant Crassula)

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Scientific Name

Crassula elegans Schönland & Baker f.

Common Names

Elegant Crassula

Synonyms

Crassula elegans subsp. elegans, Crassula corpusculariopsis, Crassula densa, Crassula dinteri, Crassula globosa, Crassula humilis, Crassula mesembrianthoides, Crassula schoenlandii

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Crassuloideae
Genus: Crassula

Description

Crassula elegans is a dwarf, sprawling, perennial succulent, up to 3.2 inch (8 cm) tall, but usually with short stems and much branched, with old leaves completely shrivelled. The leaves are ovate to lanceolate, broadly triangular in section, intense green, often with brownish red to ruby red tips in full sun, up to 0.6 inch (1.5 cm) long and up to 0.3 inch (8 mm) wide. They are threaded along a wiry stem and closely packed so that internodes are rarely visible between them. The small flowers are white, cream or yellowish, often fading to brown, slightly perfumed and appear from late-summer to fall or winter.

Photo via davesgarden.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

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, make sure the soil is dry before repotting, then gently remove the pot. Knock away the old soil from the roots, making sure to remove any rotted or dead roots in the process. Treat any cuts with a fungicide. Place the plant in its new pot and backfill with potting soil, spreading the roots out 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.

Origin

Crassula elegans is native to South Africa (Bushmanland) and Namibia.

Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars and Hybrids

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