Crassula hemisphaerica var. foliosa
Crassula hemisphaerica var. typica
Crassula hemispherica is native to South Africa, in particular it’s present in part of the Great Karoo, a semi-desert region in which there are numerous species of succulents, Knersvlakte, a hilly region covered in quartz gravel. It grows on sandstone or on quartz gravel.
Crassula hemisphaerica is a dwarf succulent, maximum 10-15 centimeters tall, with a few rosettes of sessile leaves (maximum 2-3 but, more often, just one). Its name, C. hemisphaerica, is due to the densely packed and curved leaves that make the rosette hemisphaerical in section. Leaves are oval or elliptic, maximum 5 centimeters long and 3 centimeters wide, flattened, grey-green with many hydatotes (little holes that look like tiny bumps), grouped in the upper part. Leaves are overlapped upon the stems and densely packed together, so that the stem is not visible and the plant ends to look like a flattened, pretty rosette. Inflorescences are spike-like thyrses which overhang the rest of the plant, with an erect peduncle which bears axillary creamy or white flowers with black anters. Blossoming time is in Autumn, between September and November.
Crassula hemisphaerica is not difficult to grow. Here below are our cultivation tips:
The best exposure is in full sun or semi-shade. By the way, intense sunlight enhances the bright red tinges of its leaves, so we advice to put it in a bright spot. Avoid a direct exposure during the hottest hours of summer days. Shade should be only occasional, as plants grown in full shade tend to become more fragile, to loose leaves and turn on a paler colour.
To stay safe, it’s better to keep your Crassula hemisphaerica indoors in Winter or at least to shelter it, if you live in a temperate climate area and you choose to grow it outdoors. Crassulas in general, in fact, should never grow at temperatures below 7 ° C though, in theory, C. hemisphaerica should survive to temperatures down to -5ºC
Water your Crassula hemisphaerica every 2-3 days in Spring and Summer during the growth season. By the way, if you forget, the plant will survive. Wait for the soil to dry up completely before each watering. Watering slightly more frequent in spring may encourage flowering. In autumn and winter, the watering can be reduced up to be completely suspended.
Choose a porous and well drained substrate, fed with plenty of well-rotten compost. An acidic substrate is the ideal for C. hemisphaerica.
Fertilization can be done once the growth season, diluting a product specific for succulents with water at half the doses recommended on the label.
Unlike many Crassulas, C. hemisphaerica is not a fast-growing species and it can stay in the same pot for several years.
Crassula hemisphaerica can be propagated through seeds and leaf cuttings. Leaf cutting are actually the easiest way: They can be planted into a sandy soil, where they will easily put root. Remember to let the leaf you’re using as a cutting dry up for a day before planting it. The rooting substrate, instead, should be a mix of 2 parts of sharp sand and one of moist peat. Keep the cutting in a moist environment and at temperature of around 20ºC until it roots.
The name “Crassula” comes from the Latin “crassus”, which means fat. The species attribute “hemisphaerica”, instead, is due to the densely packed and curved leaves that make the rosette hemisphaerical in section.
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