Crassula argyrophylla var. swaziensis


Crassula argyrophylla var. ramosa
Crassula globularioides subsp. argyrophylla
Crassula swaziensis f. argyrophylla
Crassula swaziensis
Crassula swaziensis subsp. brachycarpa
Crassula swaziensis f. brevipilosa
Crassula swaziensis f. guruensis
Crassula swaziensis var. guruensis


Crassula argyrophylla var. swaziensis is endemic to Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) and parts of South Africa. It thrives in rocky outcrops and slopes in its native habitat, which provides the excellent drainage it needs. The region experiences a seasonal climate with wet summers and dry winters, which the plant has adapted to by developing water-storing capabilities.


Crassula argyrophylla var. swaziensis is a small, perennial succulent that forms rosettes. Its leaves are fleshy, ovate to elliptical, and have a silvery-green color with a shiny, metallic sheen, which is where the name “argyrophylla,” meaning “silver leaf,” comes from. The leaves may also have red margins, especially when exposed to bright sunlight or during water stress, which adds to their ornamental appeal. This variety typically grows in a compact form, reaching heights of up to 15 centimeters. It blooms in the spring or early summer, producing small, star-shaped white to pale pink flowers on erect inflorescences.


In cultivation, Crassula argyrophylla var. swaziensis requires conditions that mimic its natural habitat. It prefers a well-draining soil mix, such as a cactus or succulent mix, to prevent root rot. The plant does well in full sun to partial shade; however, too much intense sunlight can scorch the leaves, while insufficient light can cause etiolation. Watering should follow the “soak and dry” method, where the plant is watered thoroughly and then allowed to dry out completely before the next watering. During the winter, water sparingly, as the plant enters a period of dormancy. This variety is not frost-tolerant and needs protection from cold temperatures. The plant’s root system is not extensive, which is why it does well in shallow pots that match its natural growing conditions. In terms of feeding, a diluted succulent fertilizer can be used during the growing season, but it’s important to avoid over-fertilization as this can cause rapid growth that results in a less compact form and weaker overall structure.


Propagation of Crassula argyrophylla var. swaziensis is typically done through leaf cuttings or offsets. Leaves can be gently twisted off the stem and allowed to callous for a few days before placing them on top of the soil. Offsets can be removed from the mother plant and potted separately. Both methods are effective and can quickly produce new plants.


Crassula argyrophylla var. swaziensis is notable for its attractive, metallic-sheen leaves, which make it a popular choice for succulent collections. The genus Crassula is known for its incredible variety and adaptability, and this variety is no exception. Its ability to store water in its leaves allows it to survive prolonged dry periods, making it an excellent plant for water-wise gardens. The contrast between its silvery leaves and the potential red edges makes it a striking addition to rockeries, succulent displays, or as a potted houseplant.

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