In this family there are nearly 1,000 species, belonging to 25 genera, and these are grouped into 6 sub-families: namely, Crassuloideae, Kalanchoideae, Cotyledonoideae, Sempervivoideae, Sedoideae, and Echeverioideae.


These are succulent shrubs forming clumps with fleshy leaves arranged opposite one another, often crowded into rosettes, but in other plants well apart. The flowers are fairly small, white or pink; the petals and the stamens are the same in number, usually s of each.

CRASSULA. Most species in this genus are natives of S. Africa. There are considerably over 200 species. A few are annuals, and because of the diversity of shape and form, they can be a source of interest for anyone making a collection of them.


Crassula arborescens. Cape Province. Of shrubby habit with thick fleshy stem and branches. The leaves are wide at the base, roundish, obovate, fleshy, and are grey-green, often with a red margin and reddish spots on the upper surface. The flowers appear in clusters, pink or white, and later red. This species is easy to cultivate. Growing season, March to September.

Crassula argentea. Cape Province. A succulent shrub with a thick stem and stout branches, reaching a height in its native land of 10 feet. The leaves are oval, shining green; the flowers pale pink.

Crassula falcata. Cape Province. A beautiful plant, growing to a height of 3 feet. The thick, grey leaves have a sharp edge resembling a sickle in contour, and are fixed along the straight stem in such a way that 2 rows turn to the right and 2 rows to the left, giving the plant a two-sided fiat appearance. The lovely flowers appear in summer, as much-branched clusters of false umbels, brilliant red in colour.

Crassula rotundifolia. A similar plant to C. falcata, but the fleshy green leaves are almost round and very flat, thinning out at the edges, with a soft coat of velvet; they are obliquely attached to the stem in a similar way to those of C. falcata.

Crassula lactea. A semi-shrub, with dark green leaves and white flowers, the latter produced in midwinter. Makes a fine pot plant if given a rich sandy compost. Easy to grow.

Crassula lycopodioides. Cape Province. A small, bushy plant whose thin branches are completely covered with 4 rows of closely packed leaves. The minute flowers, yellowish-white, are almost sessile, and spring from the axils of the leaves in the upper portions of the stem. Easy to grow and easy to propagate, by cuttings.

Crassula perfoliata. Cape Province. A semi-shrub, very similar in appearance to C. falcata. The stems are erect and fleshy, with leaves 3 to 4 inches long, tapering, and concave above. The flower is scarlet.

Crassula rupestris. Cape Province. A beautiful plant forming a prostrate bush. The fleshy, roundish or oval leaves are grey-green in colour with brown dots and a brown margin. The flowers are attractive. A very useful plant for baskets.


Crassula alstonii. Namaqualand. Has thick, smooth, compact and incurved leaves, forming a grey, almost white, plant. The flowers are small and white. This species requires full light and should be rested in summer. Growing period, October and November. Compost should consist of 2 parts leaf soil, 1 part loam, 2 parts sand.

Crassula columnaris. Namaqualand. An interesting plant, grey in colour, with the leaves about an inch across in 4 close rows. The flowers, white or yellowish-orange, appear October and November. Requires similar treatment to C. alstonii.

Crassula Cooperi. Cape Province. A dense, low-growing plant, 3 to 4 inches high, the leaves forming a rosette of green leaves with darker markings. The flower is flesh-coloured. Attractive, and easy to flower.

Crassula deceptrix. Namaqualand. A beautiful, low-growing plant, its short, angular leaves tightly pressed together to form a small column. The white flowers appear in October and November. This species should be rested in summer. The growing period is in winter.

Crassula grisea. A fine species with long, narrow leaves. In course of time the plant forms clumps. The largest leaves are at the base, while the leaves higher up develop small branches out of their axils. The leaves, arranged in opposite pairs, are oblong to oblong lanceolate, and covered with numerous fine papillae, so that they have a greenish-grey appearance; they are sometimes red at the margins. The flowers are white and small. This plant is easy to grow. It likes sun and warmth, but at no time should it have too much water.

Crassula Justus Corderoy. A slow-growing species, with green leaves flecked with brown, the whole surface covered with short white hairs. The reddish flowers are produced in midsummer.

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