Crassula nudicaulis (Naked-stalked Crassula)


Scientific Name

Crassula nudicaulis L.

Common Names

Naked-stalked Crassula

Synonyms

Crassula nudicaulis var. nudicaulis, Crassula canescens, Crassula cephalophora, Crassula hirta, Crassula obfalcata, Crassula obvallaris, Crassula obvallata, Crassula platyphylla, Crassula sulcata, Globulea canescens, Globulea nudicaulis, Globulea obvallata, Globulea sulcata

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Crassuloideae
Genus: Crassula

Description

Crassula nudicaulis is a low-growing succulent of variable appearance but generally only up to 5 inches (12.5 cm) tall. The linear-obovate leaves have flattened upper surfaces, rounded undersides, and can be pubescent or hairy. Margins and tips can be reddened and color up more extensively in full sun. The stem is short or none, more or less branched, carnose to slightly woody, hairy or hairless, and with old leaves remaining attached at the base. Flowers are small and greenish and appear in spring and sometimes again in late summer.

Photo via fernkloof.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Crassulas are easy to grow, but they are susceptible to mealy bugs and fungal diseases. As with all succulents, overwatering is sure to be fatal, so err on the side of too dry rather than too wet. Never let your plant sit in water. If you water from beneath by letting the plant sit in a saucer of water, make sure to pour off any excess water after a few minutes.

These succulents are generally started by division, offsets, or leaf cuttings. Crassulas can be easily propagated from a single leaf. Sprout leaves by placing them into a potting mix for succulents, then covering the dish until they sprout.

Repot as needed, preferably during the warm season. To repot your Crassula, make sure the soil is dry before repotting, then gently remove the pot. Knock away the old soil from the roots, making sure to remove any rotted or dead roots in the process. Treat any cuts with a fungicide. Place the plant in its new pot and backfill with potting soil, spreading the roots out as you repot. Leave the plant dry for a week or so, then begin to water lightly to reduce the risk of root rot.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Crassula.

Origin

Crassula nudicaulis is native to South Africa (the Cape Provinces, the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Northern Provinces) and Lesotho.

Varieties and Cultivars

  • Crassula nudicaulis var. herrei
  • Crassula nudicaulis var. platyphylla
  • Crassula nudicaulis var. platyphylla 'Burgundy'
  • Crassula nudicaulis 'Devil's Horns'

Links

  • Back to genus Crassula
  • Succulentopedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus

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Crassula nudicaulis – Succulent plants

Crassula nudicaulis (Naked-stalked Crassula) is a perennial succulent herb with a thickened taproot and several low rosettes of basal leaves. The linear-obovate leaves have flattened upper surfaces, rounded undersides, and maybe pubescent or hairy. Margins and tips may be reddened and color up more extensively in full sun. The stem is short or none, more or less branched, carnose to slightly woody, hairy or hairless, and with old leaves remaining attached at the base. The blossoms are small and greenish in color. It blooms in spring and sometimes again in late summer.

Scientific Classication:

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Crassuloideae
Genus: Crassula

Scientific Name: Crassula nudicaulis L.
Synonyms: Crassula nudicaulis var. nudicaulis, Crassula canescens, Crassula cephalophora, Crassula hirta, Crassula obfalcata, Crassula obvallaris, Crassula obvallata, Crassula platyphylla, Crassula sulcata, Globulea canescens, Globulea nudicaulis, Globulea obvallata, Globulea sulcata.
Common Name: Naked-stalked Crassula

How to grow and maintain Crassula nudicaulis (Naked-stalked Crassula):

Light:
It thrives best in bright light with some direct sunlight. A sunny windowsill will be an ideal position for these plants. They will not flower without sunlight and inadequate light will cause developing spindly growth.

Soil:
It grows well in well-drained soil with a neutral pH. Add coconut coir and Pine bark to make the soil more drainage friendly.

Water:
Water regularly, during the growing season (April to September), but water sparingly when dormant (autumn and winter). Allow the top of the soil to slightly dry out before watering again.

Temperature:
It prefers ideal room temperatures of around 60°F – 75°F / 15.5°C – 24°C. During winter no less than 50°F / 10°C. Cold weather and damp weather is not good. It loses its color and turns yellow and mushy.

Fertilizer:
Fertilize every two weeks during the growing season, from spring through summer with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half. Do not fertilize during the winter.

Re-potting:
Re-pot in spring when the plant becomes root bound or the soil needs renewing. A good solid and heavy pot is best to use because of these plants are well known for being top-heavy. A heavy pot will prevent them from tipping over.

Propagation:
It can be easily propagated by stem cuttings, leaf cuttings or by basal offsets. The cuttings or offsets should be taken in spring. Take 2-3 inch long stem cuttings and plant it in a 2-3 inch pot of equal parts mixture of peat moss and sand and keep it at normal room temperature in the bright filtered light.

Pests and Diseases:
It has is no serious pest or disease problems. But they are susceptible to mealy bugs, aphids, and fungal diseases. Overwatering may cause the roots to rot.


Crassula nudicaulis

Crassula nudicaulis is a perennial succulent herb with a thickened taproot and several low rosettes of basal leaves. Plants are somewhat variable in appearance and there are several subspecies over the plant's wide range.

The leaves of this species can turn brown, but they do not adopt the brick red hues sometimes taken on by Crassula subacaulis and Crassula clavata.

The inflorescence is a spike, with bracts that are not ciliate the lowest one to three pairs of bracts have no flowers in the axils but the others do. The flowers are turned upwards, they have yellow anthers and distinctive dorsal appendages.

This species is closely related to Crassula cotyledonis, which is a more robust species that has marginal leaf-hair in more than one line. It can also be confused with Crassula clavata, but that species has glabrous (smooth), oblanceolate-obovate leaves that turn deep purple-red in the sun. [2] [3]

Subspecies variation Edit

This species is variable, and several subspecies exist:

    • subsp. nudicaulis: The nominate subspecies has oblong-elliptic (cylindrical), reddish-green leaves that are 50 to 80 mm (2 to 3 in) long and faintly pubescent.
    • subsp. herrei: This Richtersveld subspecies has shorter, thicker, more fleshy, hairless leaves, 30 to 40 mm (1.2 to 1.6 in) long, but can grow into a shrubby bush up to 25 cm (10 in) tall.
    • subsp. platyphylla: This southern Karoo subspecies has blue-grey foliage the leaves are broadly oblong to orbicular with cilia near the margins.

    C. nudicaulis var. nudicaulis


    Crassula nudicaulis

    Crassula nudicaulis is a perennial succulent herb with a thickened taproot and several low rosettes of basal leaves. Plants are somewhat variable in appearance and there are several subspecies over the plant's wide range.

    The leaves of this species can turn brown, but they do not adopt the brick red hues sometimes taken on by Crassula subacaulis and Crassula clavata.

    The inflorescence is a spike, with bracts that are not ciliate the lowest one to three pairs of bracts have no flowers in the axils but the others do. The flowers are turned upwards, they have yellow anthers and distinctive dorsal appendages.

    This species is closely related to Crassula cotyledonis, which is a more robust species that has marginal leaf-hair in more than one line. It can also be confused with Crassula clavata, but that species has glabrous (smooth), oblanceolate-obovate leaves that turn deep purple-red in the sun. [2] [3]

    Subspecies variation [ edit ]

    This species is variable, and several subspecies exist:

      • subsp. nudicaulis: The nominate subspecies has oblong-elliptic (cylindrical), reddish-green leaves that are 50 to 80 mm (2 to 3 in) long and faintly pubescent.
      • subsp. herrei: This Richtersveld subspecies has shorter, thicker, more fleshy, hairless leaves, 30 to 40 mm (1.2 to 1.6 in) long, but can grow into a shrubby bush up to 25 cm (10 in) tall.
      • subsp. platyphylla: This southern Karoo subspecies has blue-grey foliage the leaves are broadly oblong to orbicular with cilia near the margins.

      C. nudicaulis var. nudicaulis

      C. nudicaulis var. herrei from the Namaqualand and Richtersveld regions.

      C. nudicaulis var. platyphylla from the southern Karoo region


      Crassula nudicaulis (Naked-stalked Crassula) - garden

      Origin and Habitat: This species carries a large synonomy and has a wide distribution from the south-western Cape to the Eastern Cape, Free State, Lesotho and KwaZulu-Natal.
      Habitat: Dry stony slopes and sandy places. It grows in clay, loam or sandy soils. The available varied rainfall patterns all suffice.

      Description: Crassula nudicaulis is a perennial succulent plant forming several basal rosettes with glabrous to pubescent leaves collected into a head at the crown of the root and amidst them an annual flower stalk surmounted by clusters of small greenish flowers. The typical variety is a widespread, extremely variable complex of forms that have received numerous unnecessary names, representing no more than local phenotypes. The long-leaved forms are readily known but those with shorter and broader leaves approach the narrower-leaved Crassula canescens. The pubescence however is much more scanty.
      Root: Thickened taproot
      Stem: Short or none, more or less branched, carnose to slightly woody, hairy or hairless, with old leaves remaining attached at the base.
      Rosette: Close to the ground forming a sort of head
      Leaves: Succulent, oblong-elliptic, semiterete, rarely linear-lanceolate or obovate to orbicular, acute, sub-pubescent, (20-)50-80(-150) mm long, (4-)6-12(-25) mm wide tapering upwards, acute to rounded, flat or slightly convex above, more or less convex below, spreading, rarely somewhat recurved in the north-east, glabrous to pubescent, with or without marginal cilia, green to yellowish green. Readily takes on red-brown accents from direct sunlight. .
      Inflorescence: Loose cyme-like, 15-30 (or more) cm tall, naked, with 1-3 pairs of bracts at the top without axillary flowers. Peduncle 0,l-0,2(-0,4) m long, glabrous to pubescent.
      Flowers:Small, cream-coloured or greenish, which often fail to open as broadly as other species do. Calyx lobes oblong-triangular, l,5-2(-3) mm long, obtuse, rarely acute, glabrous or with recurved hairs or papillae and marginal cilia, fleshy, green to brown. Corolla tubular to almost cylindrical, fused basally for 0,5-0,8 mm, cream, rarely white. Corolla lobes (petals), panduriform, 3-3,5(-4,5) mm long, each with prominent terminal dorsal appendages and with membranous petal apex on inside. Style sharp, stigmas lateral. Stamens 2.5-3.5 mm long, anthers yellow.
      Blooming season: It flowers in spring and sometimes again in the latter part of summer.

      Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Crassula nudicaulis group

      • Crassula hirta" href='/Encyclopedia/SUCCULENTS/Family/Crassulaceae/26885/Crassula_hirta'> Crassula hirta Thunb. : (var. nudicaulis) has long, fleshy, leaves more or less covered by white hairs, but variability among individuals is evident and no two plants look the same. Distribution: Cape of Good Hope.
      • Crassula nudicaulis L. : (var. nudicaulis) leaves are oblong-elliptic and 50-80 mm long. The typical variety represents a variable complex. Distribution: S-W Cape to the E Cape, Free State, Lesotho and KwaZulu-Natal.
      • Crassula nudicaulis var. herrei (Friedrich) Toelken : has a shrubby habit up to 100-250 mm tall wit very thick glabrous leaves 30-40 mm long and semi-circular in section. The flowers are directed upwards. Distribution: Western Cape to the Orange River.
      • Crassula nudicaulis var. platyphylla (Harv.) Toelken : has bluish-grey, broadly oblong to orbicular leaves with marginal cilia. Distribution: mountains bordering the southern Great Karoo.

      Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
      1) W. H. Harvey “Flora Capensis” Vol 2, 1894
      2) Edgar Lamb, Brian Lamb “The Illustrated Reference on Cacti & Other Succulents” Volume 5 Blandford Press, 1978
      3) Werner Rauh “The Wonderful World of Succulents: Cultivation and Description of Selected Succulent Plants Other Than Cacti” Smithsonian Institution Press, 1984
      4) Doreen Court “Succulent Flora of Southern Africa” CRC Press, 01/Jun/2000
      5) Stuart Max Walters “The European Garden Flora: Dicotyledons” (Part I) Cambridge University Press, 1989
      6) Gordon D. Rowley “The illustrated encyclopedia of succulents” Crown Publishers, 01/Aug/1978
      7) Gordon Rowley “Crassula: A Grower's Guide” Cactus & Company, 2003
      8) Eggli, Urs “Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants, Crassulaceae Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants.” Springer, Berlin 2002
      9) Hermann Jacobsen “Abromeitiella to Euphorbia” Blandford Press, 1960
      10) Hermann Jacobsen “A handbook of succulent plants: descriptions, synonyms, and cultural details for succulents other than Cactaceae” Volume 1 Blandford Press, 1960
      11) Toelken, H.R. 1997. “A revision of the genus Crassula” in southern Africa. Annals of the Bolus Herbarium 8,1-595.
      12) Van Jaarsveld, E., Van Wyk, B-E. & Smith, G. “Succulents of South Africa.” Tafelberg, Cape Town. 2000
      13) John Wilkes “Encyclopaedia Londinensis” Volume 5 1810
      14) John Manning “Field Guide to Fynbos” Struik, 2007
      15) Christopher Brickell “RHS Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers” Dorling Kindersley Ltd, 01/set/2010
      16) Otto A. Leistner “Flora of southern Africa” 1985
      17) George Don “A General History of the Dichleamydeous Plants . Arranged According to the Natural System”, Volume 3 J. G. and F. Rivington, 1834
      18) Alfred Byrd Graf “Exotica, series 4 international: pictorial cyclopedia of exotic plants from tropical and near-tropic regions” Roehrs Co. Publishers, 1985
      19) The National Cactus and Succulent Journal: The Official Journal of the National Cactus & Succulent Society, Volumes 31-34 National Cactus and Succulent Society, 1976
      20) Dr J.P. Roux “Flora of South Africa” 2003

      Cultivation and Propagation: Crassula nudicaulis are of easy cultivation and relatively low maintenance, which makes them a good houseplant, and can be an excellent subject for the beginning succulentophile (they can grow easily on window sills, verandas and in miniature succulent gardens where they are happy to share their habitat with other smaller succulent plants, or in outdoor rockeries). They are spring and autumn grower (summer dormant).
      Soil: They prefer a very porous potting mix to increase drainage. A acid soil is ideal. You can grow a plant in a 6-10 cm pot for years and have perfectly happy plants. For best results, use a shallow pot.
      Watering: Provide some water all year around, in the wild most of the growth occurs during spring and autumn. During the hot summer months, the soil should be kept moist but not overly wet. During the winter months, water only when the soil becomes completely dry. Wet soil quickly causes root and stem rot, especially during chilly winter months, but can re-root if taken care of. No water should ever be allowed to stand around the roots. Low ambient humidity is always needed.
      Fertilization: The plants are fertilized only once during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer diluted to ½ the recommended strength.
      Sun Exposure: They need full sun or bright, filtered light with ample airflow to stay compact, but avoid direct blasting sun in mid summer (with sun exposure the leaf develops a nice brownish tint), they do not do well in full shade as they tend to etiolate, fall over and rot easily.
      Pest & diseases: Crassulas are sensitive to mealybugs.
      Rot: Rot is only a minor problem with Crassula if the plants are watered and “aired” correctly. If they are not, fungicides won't help all that much. Care must be given in watering, keeping them warm and wet while growing, and cooler and dry when dormant.
      Hardiness: Although the plants will survive mild frost if kept dry (hardy as low as -5° C) they should be protected from frost to prevent scarring. USDA 9b-12
      Use: It is an excellent potted plant great for windowsill culture as well as in rock gardens. Indoors only in brightest position.
      Pruning: The small white flowers of these plants are not particularly striking and beautiful, and so it may be appropriate to remove the flower stalks at an early stage. Plants saves a lot of forces that can then be invest to increase the production of new and stronger side shoots.
      Propagation: They are easily propagated by the removal of off shoots, remove a lateral shoot and insert the basal part buried in the soil. This shoot should root within a month, and small offshootd will form at the base. They can also be grown from seed.



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