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Crassula mesembryanthoides

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Scientific Name

Crassula mesembryanthoides (Haw.) D.Dietr.

Synonyms

Crassula mesembryanthemoides, Crassula subulata, Crassula trachysantha, Globulea mesembryanthemoides, Globulea mesembryanthoides, Sphaeritis trachysantha

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Crassuloideae
Genus: Crassula

Origin

This species is native to South Africa (Karoo and Valley Bushveld, Eastern Cape).

Description

Crassula mesembryanthoides, also known as Crassula mesembryanthemoides, is a small succulent shrub with green, fleshy, and hairy stems that turn woody and reddish-brown over time. It grows up to 16 inches (40 cm) tall. Leaves are green to yellowish-green and densely covered with soft recurved hairs. They are ascending, linear-elliptic with a pointed tip, up to 0.4 inches (2 cm) long, and 0.15 inches (0.4 cm) wide. Flowers are small, bell-shaped, white to cream-colored, and appear in clusters at the end of the branches in fall and winter.

The specific epithet "mesembryanthoides" means "looking like a Mesembryanthemum" and refers to the species' similar appearance with the plants from the genus MesembryanthemumThe correct and commonly used spelling of this epithet is "mesembryanthemoides," but because Dinter used the spelling "mesembryanthoides" in his original description, this has to be accepted as correct.

Crassula mesembryanthoides aka Crassula mesembryanthemoides

Photo by Peter Lapshin

How to Grow and Care for Crassula mesembryanthoides

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 mesembryanthoides can withstand temperatures as low as 30 to 50 °F (-1.1 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 10a 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 mesembryanthoides

Crassula plants are generally nontoxic to people and pets.

Hybrids of Crassula mesembryanthoides

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