Crassula rogersii is a rare species, endemic to South Africa, in particular to a region in the Eastern Cape Province, from Willowmore to Port ELizabeth and Port Alfred. “Endemic” means “present only in a small region in the world”.
Its preferred habitat are the dry river valleys of Succulent Karoo and Albany thicket. They are two ecoregions in South Africa: the former, Succulent Karoo, is a desert area from which more than 10,000 species of succulent plants come, the latter is a dens woodland region in the Eastern Cape province.
Crassula rogersii is a small, perennial succulent shrub that forms a sub-globose cushion-bush maximum 16-30 centimeters tall: it generally never exceeds these dimensions. It is branched until being intricated, its stems are succulent, erect or partially prostrate when elder.
Its leaves look like rabbits’ears: they are succulent, elongated and covered in a fine, velvety hair, pleasant to the touch, green or reddish-green. Actually, the colour of the leaves changes depending on the degree of exposure to sunlight and on temperature: if the plant is exposed to the hot rays of Summer afternoons, leaves will dye themselves in tinges of red, especially on their upper part.
Flowers are small, yellow, star-shaped, grouped in a cluster (in botany, a certain kind of cluster called “Thyrse”) hold on an elongated stalk. Blossoming period occurs in mid-Summer and extends until Autumn.
Crassula rogersii is not so difficult to grow 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 cultivar 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 plant needs a good airflow and plenty of light. Abundance of light, in the hot hours of Summer afternoons, is important to enhance the marvelous colours of its leaves: anyway this plant does better if exposed to morning and evening sunlight.
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 but rich in nutrient. Choose a shallow pot to provide the best condition for its fibrous roots.
Crassula rogersii can be easily propagated through stem cuttings or either by simply taking off one of its offsets and replanting it in a sandy, humid substrate.
This species was given this name by Frederick A. Rogers (1876- 1944), English missionary and amateur botanist, who moved in South Africa in 1904.
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