Crassula rupestris subsp. rupestris
Crassula rupestris is native to South Africa and Southern Namibia. Its habitat are the Richtersveld, Namaqualand Ceres Tanqua Karoo, Worcester Robertson Karoo and Little Karoo (all these are semi-arid ecosystems differentiated for climates and vagetation belts) , in hot, dry climates with Winter rainfalls, and rocky soils.
Crassula rupestris is a slow-growing, small shrub (its maximum height is 50 centimeters), with erect or prostrate, very branched stems, woody at the base and more fleshy near the growing tip. Leaves are oval-lanceolate, pointed and fleshy, arranged in opposite pairs, are 1,2-1,5 centimeters long and 0,8-1 centimeter wide, lightly concave on the top page, greyish-bluish-green, often with reddish edges.
Blossoming occurs in the end of Autumn – beginning of Winter, in inflorescences which are rounded heads (thyrses) and grow on the axile of the upper leaves. Flowers are numerous, starry, with 5 rounded petals, white with a pink central part, scented, half a centimeter wide, pollinated by bees, moths and bumble bees.
Seeds are really small, similar to powder and dispersed by the wind and formed in the beginning of Spring, March-April, in our hemisphere.
Cultivation is not so difficult. C. rupestris require a well-draining, sandy substrate, to be maintained completely dry in Winter. Water it moderately during the vegetative phase, in Spring and Summer. Tolerated temperatures don’t fall below 5ºC. C. rupestris requires a sunny spot.
Propagation can be easily realized through stem cuttings or leaf cuttings to be taken off in early Autumn and then left to dry up for a week before to be planted. It’s also possible to use seeds, to be sown in Spring, Summer, Autumn. Seeds can also be used, to be sown in Autumn, namely, in our hemisphere, September-October-November.
The name “Crassula” comes from the Latin “crassus”, which means fat.
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