Pointed-leaved Crassula, Red Treasure, Heuningbossie, Rooiplakkie
Ruby red; summer autumn
sun; rockery; container; dry soils; roof gardens; sandy soils; wildlife butterflies butterfly host
rocky places; hot dry; coastal eastern cape; coastal kzn; grassland
thicket; bushveld savanna; highveld; subtropical east coast
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A small erect growing succulent, with a mature size of only 40 cm, Crassula perfoliata is an unusual species that brings great form and interest to the front of a garden bed. The original Crassual perfoliata was named by Carl Linnaeus, considered the father of taxonomy, as far back as 1753, and there are now 4 known varieties. C. perfoliata has leaves that are a grey-green, long and curving slightly upwards flat above and curved below, with the tip ending in a sharp to roundish point. In a dry winter the tips can be tinged with shades of red and russet or the entire leaf can be a most attractive mottled grey/red. The colours are very similar to the leaves of a winter coloured Kalanchoe thrysiflora. A winter flowerer (May – October), the fairly large flowering heads are flat-topped and round in shape, in shades of white to off-white. They open on the tops of long succulent and quite fat stalks which are a pink-grey shade. Close-up, touches of red can be seen inside the petals. Size: height – 40cm; leaves are 40-120 x 12 – 35 mm long; Flowers 6 - 12 mm in diameter. The natural habitat: this variety can be seen along the escarpment and down the slopes, in river valleys and rocky grasslands. It tends to prefer ledges/rocky areas where ever it grows, so will look quite natural in a rockery, or around rocks in a garden bed and on sloping ground. In the garden: Mixed with the bright green leaves of Crassula alba, the grey/green leaves will contrast well, and will continue the flowering phase once the Red Crassula dies down. The Red Treasure is a good choice for water-wise landscaping: enhance the subtle colouring and strong form with the low mounds of Dimorphotheca species, in bright hues of purple and yellow. They would look equally attractive mixed with the orange, reds and yellows of the winter flowering Gazania krebsiana. Unlike its sister forms, Crassula alba and C. capitella, whose leaves die down and sprout afresh in spring, these tough, more leathery looking leaves remain year long.