Crassula pyramidalis is native to Succulent Karoo, a desert ecoregion extending into South Africa and Namibia, notable for its biodiversity and high number of succulent species. It’s widespread in different climate zones, not threatened with extinction, and its preferred habitat are hill-tops on quartzitic sand stone pavement, either in summer or winter rainfall areas.
Crassula pyramidalis is a small succulent shrub, which becomes maximum 13-15 centimeters tall. It’s really appreciated in the world of ornamental gardening for its peculiar pyramidal shape, which justifies its name, and the incredible appearance of its stems. Stems, in fact, have no leaves, or rather, they have them but they are so small (4-8 mm) that they cannot be clearly distinguished and defined as leaves, because they are closely “imbricated” on the stems. “Imbricated” is a word used in botanical jargon that means “densely packed one on top of the other like roof tiles”. Also stems themselves have a peculiar, quadrangular shape, an intense, dark deep green colour and are densely branched, divided into four ribs formed by the 4 lines of imbricated leaves. Furthermore, they have a deep red tinge at their top and on the ribs which make them really cute.
Another incredible feature of this plant are its inflorescences: they appear at the top of the small stems, forming a dense, sessile cluster of very small, pinkish-white flowers. Blossoming season occurs mid Spring and Summer. This species, unfortunately, dies after blooming.
Crassula pyramidalis is a slow-growing plant, not so difficult to grow in a wide variety of climate condition if planted in a well-draining substrate. Even if you are not a really good gardener, it will resist. Pay attention to watering: the main problems that may occur in growing this species are related to overwatering and scarce ventilation. Water interventions should be moderate and frequent in Spring and Summer but reduced and scarce in Winter, to prevent it from root and stem rot. This species needs a good airflow and it will do well if exposed to sunlight for a large part of the day. Anyway, a direct exposure in the hottest hours of Summer days should be avoided. It’s better to keep it indoors to avoid frost damages: temperatures below 5ºC could damage the plant.
Its ideal substrate is a porous potting mix, very well-draining. Choose a shallow pot to provide the best condition for its fibrous roots.
Propagation can be made by seeds or stem cuttings. Cuttings usually form roots slightly easily, if planted in a humid, well-draining, sandy substrate. Sowing period is in Autumn.
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