Crassula namaquensis (Namaqua Crassula)


Scientific Name

Crassula namaquensis Schönland & Baker f.

Common Names

Namaqua Crassula

Synonyms

Crassula namaquensis subsp. namaquensis

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Crassuloideae
Genus: Crassula

Description

Crassula namaquensis is a dwarf, succulent shrub, up to 4 inches (10 cm) tall, with a stout base and clusters of spirally arranged leaves. These leaves are fuzzy, pale blue to blue-green due to the peculiar hairs which are thickly distributed over the surface, up to 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) long and up to 0.4 inch (1 cm) wide. The flowers are small, creamy white and appear in spring.

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °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… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Crassula

Origin

Crassula namaquensis is native to southern Namibia, southwards to the Namaqualand as the name strongly suggests, but also in the Richtersveld in South Africa.

Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars and Hybrids

  • Crassula namaquensis subsp. comptonii
  • Crassula namaquensis subsp. lutea

Links

  • Back to genus Crassula
  • Succulentopedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus

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Crassula namaquensis (Namaqua Crassula) – Succulent plants

Crassula namaquensis (Namaqua Crassula) is an ornamental, dwarf, succulent shrub that grows up to 100 mm high having a stout base and clusters of spirally arranged leaves. These leaves are fuzzy, pale blue to blue-green due to the peculiar hairs which are thickly distributed over the surface, up to 3.5 cm long and up to 1 cm wide. The blossoms are small, creamy white and appear in spring.

Scientific Classification:

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Crassuloideae
Genus: Crassula

Scientific Name: Crassula namaquensis Schönland & Baker f.
Synonyms: Crassula namaquensis subsp. namaquensis
Common Names: Namaqua Crassula

How to grow and maintain Crassula namaquensis (Namaqua Crassula):

Light:
It thrives best in bright light with some direct sunlight. A sunny windowsill will be an ideal position for these plants. They will not flower without sunlight and inadequate light will cause developing spindly growth.

Soil:
It grows well in well-drained soil with a neutral pH. Add coconut coir and Pine bark to make the soil more drainage friendly.

Water:
Water regularly, during the growing season (April to September), but water sparingly when dormant (autumn and winter). Allow the top of the soil to slightly dry out before watering again.

Temperature:
It prefers ideal room temperatures of around 60°F – 75°F / 15.5°C – 24°C. During winter no less than 50°F / 10°C. Cold weather and damp weather is not good. It loses its color and turns yellow and mushy.

Fertilizer:
Fertilize every two weeks during the growing season, from spring through summer with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half. Do not fertilize during the winter.

Re-potting:
Re-pot in spring when the plant becomes root bound or the soil needs renewing. A good solid and heavy pot is best to use because these plants are well known for being top-heavy. A heavy pot will prevent them from tipping over.

Propagation:
It can be easily propagated by stem cuttings, leaf cuttings, or by basal offsets. The cuttings or offsets should be taken in spring. Take 2-3 inch long stem cuttings and plant it in a 2-3 inch pot of equal parts mixture of peat moss and sand and keep it at normal room temperature in the bright filtered light.

Pests and Diseases:
It has is no serious pest or disease problems. But they are susceptible to mealy bugs, aphids, and fungal diseases. Overwatering may cause the roots to rot.


Light

It thrives best in bright light with some direct sunlight. A sunny windowsill will be an ideal position for these plants. They will not flower without sunlight and inadequate light will cause developing spindly growth.

Soil

It grows well in well-drained soil with a neutral pH. Add coconut coir and Pine bark to make the soil more drainage friendly.

Water

Water regularly, during the growing season (April to September), but water sparingly when dormant (autumn and winter). Allow the top of the soil to slightly dry out before watering again.

Temperature

It prefers ideal room temperatures of around 60°F – 75°F / 15.5°C – 24°C. During winter no less than 50°F / 10°C. Cold weather and damp weather is not good. It loses its color and turns yellow and mushy.

Fertilizer

Fertilize every two weeks during the growing season, from spring through summer with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half. Do not fertilize during the winter.

Re-potting

Re-pot in spring when the plant becomes root bound or the soil needs renewing. A good solid and heavy pot is best to use because of these plants are well known for being top-heavy. A heavy pot will prevent them from tipping over.

Propagation

Crassula Surprise Party propagation can be easily by stem cuttings, leaf cuttings or by basal offsets. The cuttings or offsets should be taken in spring. Take 2-3 inch long stem cuttings and plant it in a 2-3 inch pot of equal parts mixture of peat moss and sand and keep it at normal room temperature in the bright filtered light.

Pests and Diseases

It has is no serious pest or disease problems. But they are susceptible to mealy bugs, aphids, and fungal diseases. Over watering may cause the roots to rot.

Crassula Surprise Party Flowers


Crassula Surprise Party flowers about 10 months of the year above soft, green leaves which are covered in tiny hairs, giving it a silver shimmer.

Colours and sizes of succulents change drastically throughout the season due to maturity, temperature, sunlight exposure, and other factors.


Crassula namaquensis (Namaqua Crassula) - garden

Origin and Habitat: Southern Namibia southwards to the Namaqualand as the name strongly suggests, but also in the Richtersveld in South Africa.
Habitat and ecology: It grows among quartzite rocks.

Description: Crassula namaquensis is a dwarf succulent shrub to 100 mm high having a stout base and clusters of spirally arranged leaves. These leaves are fuzzy, pale blue to blue-green due to the peculiar hairs which are thickly distributed over the surface. Flowers in a terminal head, white. It is related to Crassula tecta.
Habit: Perennials with basal rosettes, with old leaves not deciduous.
Stems: Stout woody, more or less branched, with short stems trailing in the sand.
Leaves: Thickly succulent, oblong, elliptic to oblanceolate, erect, (4-)10-35 mm long (2-)3-10 mm broad, acute to obtuse, flat to somewhat convex above and usually very convex below to almost terete, velvety, densely covered with coarse recurved and adpressed hairs and without marginal cilia, grey- to bluish-green variably ridged in brown at the top, old leaves persistent.
Inflorescence: The inflorescence is a thyrse that usually produces one terminal spherical dichasium (occasionally up to 3 or more especially in cultivation). Peduncle 2-10 (14) cm long and covered with recurved adpressed hairs.
Flowers: Creamy white. Corolla lobes oblong-triangular, 2-3 mm long with rounded apices, with recurved hairs and marginal cilia, green to grey-green. Corolla tubular, fused basally for 0,6-1 mm, white, cream to yellow lobes oblanceolate to almost panduriform, rarely narrowly elliptic, 3-8(-10) mm long, acute to acuminate and drawn into a beak-like apex without dorsal appendage. Stamens with black anthers. Squamae oblong-cuneate, 0,7-1,1 x 0,2-0,6 mm, entire or slightly emarginate, fleshy, yellow to orange.
Blooming season: Spring (in habitat between August and November).

Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Crassula namaquensis group

  • Crassula namaquensis" href='/Encyclopedia/SUCCULENTS/Family/Crassulaceae/27547/Crassula_namaquensis'> Crassula namaquensis Schönland & Baker f. : (subsp. namaquensis) has shorter leaves, stout woody stems and short, beaked white corolla lobes up to 10 mm long. Distribution: Kamiesberg, to south-eastern Namibia.
  • Crassula namaquensis subs. comptonii (Hutch. & Pillans) Toelken : the leases are nearly terete, the corolla lobes are 2-3 mm long and yellow. Distribution: Nieuwoudtville area (Type: Cape, Van Rhyn's Pass)
  • Crassula namaquensis subs. lutea (Schönland) Toelken : has conical acute leaves 15-30 mm long, corolla lobes very variable in length yellow 7-9 mm long. Distribution: Swart Ruggens Mountains and Cedarherg. (Type: Cape, Bokkeveld Karoo)

Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Werner Rauh “The Wonderful World of Succulents: Cultivation and Description of Selected Succulent Plants Other Than Cacti” Smithsonian Institution Press, 1984
2) Doreen Court “Succulent Flora of Southern Africa” CRC Press, 01/giu/2000
3) Stuart Max Walters “The European Garden Flora: Dicotyledons” (Part I) Cambridge University Press, 1989
4) Gordon D. Rowley “The illustrated encyclopedia of succulents” Crown Publishers, 01/Aug/1978
5) Dr J.P. Roux “Flora of South Africa” 2003
6) Foden, W. & Potter, L. 2005. Crassula namaquensis Schönland & Baker f. subsp. namaquensis. "National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants" version 2013.1. Accessed on 2014/05/24

Cultivation and Propagation: Crassula namaquensis is not so difficult to cultivate if you remember not to over-water in the Summer when they're taking their rest. This is a small plant that is perfect for a window garden, dish garden that will take full sun, little water, the leaves are gray and look like upside down ice cream cones. It may be difficult to find but worth the bother. In cultivation it is a spring and autumn grower (summer dormant). When there is too much water available in combination with too less light, the leaves won't form the characteristic dense white hairs and you will see the green of leaves between the leaf hairs which will make the sight less pretty.
Soil: They are tolerant of a wide range of soils and habitats, but prefer a very porous potting mix to increase drainage. You can grow a plant in a 6-10 cm pot for years and have perfectly happy plants. For best results, use a shallow pot.
Watering: It is in theory a spring grower, but the area of origin is so dry that the plants are mostly oppportunistic and will grow when they are lucky enough to get water so provide some water all year around. So keep it on the drier side than other Crassulas. During the winter months, water only when the soil becomes completely dry. Wet soil quickly causes root and stem rot, especially during chilly winter months, but can re-root if taken care of. No water should ever be allowed to stand around the roots. Low ambient humidity is always needed. Roots will rot in ever damp soil.
Fertilization: The plants are fertilized only once during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer diluted to ½ the recommended strength.
Sun Exposure: A sunny position brings out the best colours, it should be protected from too much exposure in Summer. They do not do well in full shade as they tend to etiolate, and rot easily.
Pest & diseases: Crassulas are sensitive to mealybugs.
Rot: Rot is only a minor problem with Crassula if the plants are watered and “aired” correctly. If they are not, fungicides won't help all that much. Care must be given in watering, keeping them warm and wet while growing, and cooler and dry when dormant.
Hardiness: Although the plants will survive mild frost if kept dry (hardy as low as -5° C) they should be protected from frost to prevent scarring.
Use: It is an excellent potted plant great for windowsill culture as well as in rock gardens. Indoors only in brightest position.
Pruning: Remove dead flower spikes only.
Propagation: They are easily grown from seed. They can also be propagated by the removal of off shoots, remove a lateral shoot and insert the basal part buried in the soil. This shoot should root within a month.


Watch the video: Crassula Varieties, a diverse group of succulents - James Lucas collection incl: Stacked Crassula.


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