Crassula tecta is an endemic succulent of Little Karoo, a desert ecoregion of South Africa. “Endemic” means “present only in a small region in the world”. Although its presence is circumscribed in a small region in the entire world, this species is not treatened with exctinction.
It prefers to grow on shallow, gritty soils between the rocks, exposed entirely to sunlight. Its bedrock are shales or either quarzitic pebbles.
Its native climate is a winterfall area.
Crassula tecta is a rare dwarf succulent, reaching a maximum height of 5 centimeters. It’s able to camouflage between the rocks thanks to its small size and to the greyish-green of its succulent leaves.
It branches only from the base and forms a small rosette of leaves arranged in opposite pairs on the stem.
Leaves are covered in a white coat, that serves to protect the plant from the intense sunlight and to prevent dewatering and contribute to the camouflage of this little plant. They are shaped like rabbits ears, pointing upward and thick.
Flowers are white, red when buds,grouped in dense, globular clusters held on elongated, slender stalks that overlook the rest of the plant.
Crassula tecta is not so difficult to grow if planted in a well-draining substrate.
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, as it’s capable protects itself from the intense sunlight with its white thick coating.
Crassula “tecta” is perfect to be grown in a rocky garden in frost-free areas.
If you use a pot, choose a shallow one to enhance the development of its fibrous roots, and plant it in a well-draining, sandy substrate.
Crassula tecta can be easily propagated through leaf cuttings, stem cuttings or either seeds.
The name Crassula means ‘little fat one’. The species attribute “tecta” refers to the arrangement of the leaves, which cover one another, like roof tiles.
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