Crassula nudicaulis var. hirta
No synonyms are recorded for this species name.
Crassula nudicaulis var. hirta is native to South Africa, in particular to the Cape of Good Hope. It grows in rocky slopes in arid climates, at a variable altitude range.
Crassula nudicaulis var. hirta is a variety of C. nudicaulis, though some authors state that it’s just a synonym with C. nudicaulis. We think it’s actually a variety, because there is also another form of C. nudicaulis, which is Crassula nudicaulis var. platyphylla, distinguished from the former for its flattened, wide leaves, very peculiar. Crassula nudicaulis var. hirta, instead, has typically very long leaves, unlike the regular form of C. nudicaulis which has normally long leaves. They are succulent, soft, linear-lanceolate, pubescent or glabrous depending on the specimen, yellow to green. As it happens in all Crassulas, leaves turn reddis when exposed to intense sunlight. The hair that can occur on the leaves surface has the function of retain moisture and minimize water loss due to evepotranspiration, which is usually very important. This plant is almost stemless, with short stems densely branched that end up in multiple rosettes. The inflorescence is a cyme, up to 30 centimeters tall, with small flowers, greenish or creamy white and tightly packed together on the cyme. The blooming season occurs in Spring and, occasionally, part of the summer. Along with the hairy leaves, another strategy to store as much water as possible is the taproot, thickened and fat, that acts as a storage for water and nutrients.
Crassula nudicaulis var. hirta 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 ‘Nudicaulis’ var. hirta 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. nudicaulis var. hirta should survive to temperatures down to -5ºC
Water your Crassula ‘Nudicaulis’ var. hirta 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. nudicaulis var. hirta.
Fertilization can be done once the growth season, diluting a product specific for succulents with water at half the doses recommended on the label.
Repot once a year and anytime your Crassula ‘Nudicaulis’ var. hirta outgrows its pot. It has, in fact, a rapid growth rate.
Crassula nudicaulis var. hirta can be easily propagated through the removal of the offshoots, by removing a lateral one and planting it in a light, well-drained soil. The time required to root is usually a month. Cuttings are easy to realize and thus we recommend this method, instead of sowing, that can be more tough with this plant.
Crassula is the “succulent plant” par excellence: its name comes from the Latin crassus, that means fat. Crassula are undemanding plant, with a high vegetative strength: for this reason, they are often used as air purifiers, having the capacity to remove polluting molecules from the air.
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