Crassula arborescens

Synonyms:

Cotyledon arborescens
Cotyledon punctata
Crassula arborea
Crassula arborescens subsp. arborescens
Crassula cotyledon
Crassula cotyledonifolia
Toelkenia arborescens

Habitat:

Crassula arborescens is native from South Africa, in particular from Cape Province and KwaZuluNatal, another province of South Africa.
Its habitat is is characterized by gravel, sandstone, shale-derived soils: these plants form kind of colonies in wide areas in slopes, hills and sometimes valleys. It loves sunny spots.

Description:

Unlike other Crassulas, which are generally small plants, Crassula arborescens is a shrub that can reach 4 meters in height. It has erect, cylindric, articulate, rather branched stems. Its trunk is thick and fleshy and has a smooth, grey bark. Its leaves are greyish-green, often spotted in red. The leaf reach 7 centimeters in length, it is elliptic or obovate.
Inflorescences are densely branched and bear a lot of starry flowers, 1 centimeter wide, whitish-pink.
Fruits are 6 mm long, with 3-5 follicles. They ripen from November to January. Seeds are very small and are spread by the wind.
There are two subspecies: Crassula arborescens subsp. arborescens and subsp. undulatifolia, distinguishable one another because one (undulatifolia) has more elliptic, wavy, erect leaves.

Cultivation:

Crassula arborescens is relatively simple to cultivate. It requires a sandy, well-draining substrate and a sunny spot. Water it moderately during the vegetative phase, maintain its soil dry during the winter. This plant can’t bear temperatures below 5ÂșC.

Propagation:

Propagation is made through stem or leaf cuttings to be rooted in a sandy, humid substrate.

Curiosity:

As other species of the genus Crassula, C. arborescens is used from the local populations in treatments against epilepsy. Also, in a few region, its roots are eaten.

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