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Crassula hirtipes (Hedgehog Stonecrop)

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Scientific Name

Crassula hirtipes Harv.

Common Names

Hedgehog Stonecrop

Synonyms

Crassula hystrix

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Crassuloideae
Genus: Crassula

Origin

This species is native to South Africa (Northern Cape and Western Cape).

Description

Crassula hirtipes is a small succulent with many decumbent to erect stems and green to reddish-green leaves with short recurved hairs. It forms spreading tufts up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter. Leaves are egg- to lance-shaped, up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) long and up to 0.3 inches (0.7 cm) wide. Flowers are tubular, cream to yellow, and appear in elongated clusters on hairy, up to 14 inches (35 cm) long peduncles in late winter and early spring.

This succulent is similar in appearance to Delosperma echinatum.

The specific epithet "hirtipes" derives from the Latin words "hirtus," meaning "hairy or shaggy" and "pēs," meaning "foot." It refers to the hairy flower stalk.

How to Grow and Care for Crassula hirtipes

Light: C. hirtipes prefers full sun to partial shade. However, intense afternoon sun in the hottest period of summer can burn the leaves of the plant. A place with morning sun and afternoon shade would be perfect. Indoors, place your plants in a window where they receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight.

Soil: This plant is not particular about soil pH, but it requires very porous soil with excellent drainage. Use commercial potting soil mixes designated for use with succulents or mix your own.

Hardiness: Like most Crassulas, this succulent will tolerate some amount of short-term freezing, but extremes of cold or heat will cause it to lose leaves and die. C. hirtipes can withstand temperatures as low as 30 to 50 °F (-1.1 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b.

Watering: 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. Potted plants require more frequent watering than those in the ground.

Fertilizing: C. hirtipes do not need much feeding but will benefit from a small amount of organic fertilizer in mid-spring when it starts actively growing.

Repotting: Repot as needed, preferably in spring, at the beginning of the period of active growth. Make sure the soil is dry before you begin repotting.

Propagation: This succulent is generally started by leaves or stem cuttings. It can also be grown from seeds and offsets. The easiest way is to propagate C. hirtipes from a single leaf, while using stem cuttings is the fastest way to get a decent-sized plant. These processes are most successful if done at the beginning of its active growth period. Sow the seeds in the spring or summer. Propagating by dividing offsets is very easy because the parent plant has already done most of the work for you.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Crassula.

Toxicity of Crassula hirtipes

C. hirtipes is nontoxic to people and pets.

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