Crassula lycopodioides variegata
Combesia muscosa var. variegata
Crassula lycopodioides variegata, like C. lycopodioides, is native to South Africa and Southern Namibia. Its habitat is mainly the Karoo desert, upon rocky soils and also plains. It’s an invasive species and spreads easily through offsets and stem cuttings.
Crassula lycopodioides variegata is really similar to Crassula lycopodioides, being a perennial succulent shrub, maximum 40 centimeters tall, with slender, elongated, woody branches. Anyway, its stems loose the bright green of Crassula lycopodioides to take on a silvery-grey colour. Leaves, as the ones of Crassula lycopodioides, are maximum 8 millimeters long, typically small and densely packed, so that they look like scales, and arranged in 4 columns along the stem, with the only difference of their silver-green. This silver-grey colour, added to the peculiar slenderness of the stems and to the “scale” leaves, gives to this plant an intriguing resemblance to a bunch of snakes.
Crassula lycopodioides variegata is a slow-growing plant, not so difficult to grow. Pay attention to watering: interventions should be moderate and frequent in Spring and Summer and reduced and scarce in Winter, to avoid root rotting. This plant requires a bright spot, plenty of light or either half light. It’s better to keep it indoors to avoid frost damages: temperatures below 5ºC should be avoided. This species needs a very good ventilation to avoid too humid conditions. Its substrate should be well-draining and with a rather abundant mineral part. Choose a shallow pot to provide the best condition to its fibrous roots. Repotting is not so often necessary because of the slow growing attitude of this plant.
Propagation of C. lycopodioides variegata, as for C. lycopodioides, can be made through seeds or stem cuttings. Sowing period is in Autumn. Both seeds and cuttings should be planted in a sandy, humid substrate.
The name “Crassula” comes from the Latin “crassus”, which means fat.
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