Crassula barbata


Purgosea barbata
Crassula barbata subsp. barbata
Crassula barbata subsp. broomii


This unique succulent is native to certain regions in South Africa. It thrives in arid climates and is often found in rocky, sandy soils where it receives ample sunlight. Its ability to adapt to dry environments makes it a resilient plant in its native habitat.


Crassula barbata is a distinctive succulent belonging to the Crassulaceae botanical family. It is known for its compact size and interesting texture and typically grows up to 10 cm in height. The leaves are small, fleshy, and covered in tiny hairs, giving them a ‘bearded’ appearance – hence the name ‘barbata’, which means ‘bearded’ in Latin. The leaves are usually a deep green color, sometimes with reddish edges under certain light conditions. The flowering time of Crassula barbata typically occurs in the late winter to early spring months. During this period, the plant produces small, star-shaped, white or pinkish flowers. In its native habitat in South Africa, this would correspond to the months from late July to early October, which are the Southern Hemisphere’s winter and early spring months. It’s important to mimic its natural growing conditions as closely as possible to ensure a healthy flowering cycle. After flowering the rosette dies, but usually first produces basal rosettes to continue its life cycle.


The plant has a slow growth rate but it easy to cultivate. The plant needs a full light sun exposure but is recommended to avoid direct sun-light in the hottest periods. The minimum temperatures that the plant can withstand are 7 ° C, below this temperature it begins to suffer so it needs to be placed indoors in the coldest periods. The soil should be mixed with pumice, clay and loam to allow the drainage and prevent the root rot, the plant is prone to it indeed. Using a perforating pot, you can drain excess water. Watering can be done regularly in Spring and Summer: during the vegetative period you can water the plant (every 7 days), checking that the soil is completely dry before watering again; in winter you should stop the watering to allow the plant to enter dormancy. About fertilization, for this plant is sufficient to fertilize moderately during the growing season with the specific fertilizers for succulents and stop fertilizing during the winter. If the pot starts to be too small for the plant you can repot the plant in a pot 2 cm wider. Repotting should be done early in the growing season with fresh new potting soil. Be careful to red spiders and mealy bugs.


Propagation of Crassula barbata is commonly done through leaf or stem cuttings. The process is straightforward: a healthy leaf or stem is cut and left to dry for a few days to form a callus. After that, the cutting can be placed in well-draining soil and watered sparingly until roots develop. The plant is also capable of self-seeding under ideal conditions.


From its name you could say that it is the “succulent plant” par excellence: its name comes from the Latin crassus, that means fat. An interesting fact about Crassula barbata is its use in traditional medicine in some cultures. It has been used for various purposes, including as a remedy for certain skin conditions. Additionally, this plant is a popular choice among succulent collectors due to its unique appearance and ease of care. Its ‘bearded’ leaves make it a conversation starter in any succulent garden.

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