Crassula mesembryanthemopsis Dinter & Dinter
Growth Habits: Stemless, succulent rosette with the leaves almost club shaped and farinose and warty in appearance. The colour of the plant is a chalky grey, this is quite unusual and greatly adds to the attractiveness of the plant
Scientific name: Crassula mesembryanthemopsis
Common names: None known.
Synonym: Crassula rapacea
Etymology: Of the Latin “Crassus” which means “thick”.
Origin: South Africa (Namaqualand), Namibia.
Light: Best kept out of direct sun in the middle of summer. At other times of the year light shade to full sun. it is said to need full sun to bloom.
Compost: The plant although reasonably small has a relatively large tap root, so care should be taken to ensure that the compost is open and there is additional drainage material in the base of the pot. It will thrive on a slightly richer compost than is normally used for succulents, but still needs adequate coarse material to open the compost.
Water: Most Crassulas can survive with less water than many other succulents. This should give the grower an indication of his or her watering regime with this species.
Flower: White flowers appear in clusters, usually in early winter but can flower later depending on the conditions. The flowers have a faint perfume and are like clusters of small bells.
Min. temp: A winter temperature of 50°f (10°c) or occasionally slightly less has always been sufficient for my own plant.
Cultivation: Crassulas are extremely sensitive to mealy bugs, so watch out for any sign of the little pests and treat accordingly. Not just on the top growth, but root mealy bug too.
Habitat: Crassula mesembryanthemopsis is distributed in the south of Namibia where it is completely buried in the sand. Similar in habit to Frithia and Fenestraria. Although all these plants are usually found buried in habitat it is almost impossible to growth them like this in cultivation as they tend to rot if planted too deeply.
Comments: A much sought after succulent, one that is not one of the more common ones usually found in nurseries, but half the fun is in the search for it. It is a relatively small plant, but it is nice to have a plant flowering when most other plants in the greenhouse are resting.
A more in-depth look at individual succulent species, a new one is added each week.
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