Crassula sericea var. velutina
Crassula sericea var. velutina is native from Namibia and South Africa, in Succulent Karoo ecoregion. Succulent Karoo is a desert area from which more than 10,000 species of succulent plants come from. In its natural habitat, this species is found into cracks in the rocks.
Crassula sericea var. velutina is a little succulent shrub, maximum 15 centimeters tall. It’s a variety of the species “Crassula sericea”, being different from the former for its smaller size (the height of 15 centimeters includes the inflorescence, which overlooks the rest of the plant) and for the different arrangement of the branching system, more prostrate and sparse.
Its little, almost rounded, flattened leaves, similar in shape to coins, are bright green and covered in a light, white velvety hair: that’s the reason for the variety name “velutina”!
Its stems are short, reaching a maximum height of 7 centimeters, generally green or red, also covered in hair.
Its inflorescence are thyrses of little white flowers(in botanical jergon, a thyrse is certain kind of cluster of flowers), held on elongated,reddish stalks.
Blossoming time occurs in late Winter and Spring.
Crassula sericea var. velutina 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. Try to protect it from the hottest hours in Summer afternoons: this plant does better if exposed to morning and evening sunlight.
Actually Crassula sericea var. velutina is the perfect plant for a rocky garden in climates with a hit, dry, Summer. Actually that’s possible only in climate areas that are similar to its natural one: if you live in a different climate area,it’s better to keep it indoors or in a greenhouse, under controlled conditions.
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.
Propagation can be easily carried out by leaves cuttings. These cuttings root easily if planted in a humid, well-drainining substrate.
The name “Crassula” comes from the Latin “crassus”, which means fat.
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