20 - 30 cm
White-pink; winter to spring
shade; dry shade; afternoon sun; windy exposed; walls; green walls; roof gardens; slope bank; paving; dry soils; container; wildlife bees butterflies insects butterfly host; narrow spaces;
woodland forest; fynbos; coastal eastern cape; coastal kzn; urban streets
thicket; subtropical east coast
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Crassula multicava is a fairly fast growing groundcover for shade that creates a thick and very neat cover. Plants grow to around 30 cm high; the leaves are oval to round and change from lighter to dark green depending on how much light it receives. Many gardeners plant them in sunny beds, but they do tend to look rather pale and dried out in these situations. In the shade, they are plump and a rich, dark green. This creates the perfect backdrop for the very pretty pink/white flowers which look like stars, floating above the mat of leaves from July onwards. It occurs in sheltered, frost-free areas on forest margins, river banks, and in thickets around most of the country. In Nature they are frequently browsed, they have evolved to rapidly root where ever a piece of the plant falls on the ground. In this way, they can spread very rapidly. They also produce little plantlets on the flower heads which fall off and take root. In the garden, they will thrive if planted with plenty of compost in good soil, although they will happily root in very shallow soils. Bees are the main pollinators, and the larvae of two butterflies feed on the leaves. C. multicava combines well with shade loving shrubs like Plectranthus saccatus and P. zuluensis. For different texture combination, mix it with the grass like Chlorophytum saundersiae, and it combines well with the lime green Bulbine latifolia (= B. natalensis).