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Crassula barbata


Maybe one of the most unique Crassula species. This is a monocarpic plant (dies after flowering once), which is sad in a way, but mainly due to the changes the plant undergoes to flower.

These little gems grow (shale & quartzite slopes) mostly under bushes for protection again animals and environment. They occur mainly in Great Karoo (Southwest region) and down to the Little Karoo (Oudtshoorn). See map. A single variant has been found near Victoria West, called ssp. broomii.

General description

They grow a round rosette, with smooth, soft leaves, but hairy (cilia) edges up to 5mm long. The leaves are like a inverted triangular, just more rounded.

The inflorescence is spiky up to 30 cm tall, which is a massive change from the low growing rosette. Groups of 7 flowers, sweetly scented are arranged along the length of the spike. Flowers can be white to red.

One of the differences between C. barbata ssp barbata and ssp broomii is the latter having short cilia (hair), less than 1mm.

All the pictures are those of ssp. barbata.

Flowering time: Spring to Early Summer

So what then, is this the end of the story? These are incredible little plants and a story I read was about Marloth (collector) who had collected leaves and placed it in between a book’s pages, 9 month’s later it began to sprout and flowered later.

As for my C. barbata, the next part of the story has already begun. I saw when I left my C. hemisphaerica alone, that it developed new plants on the base of the old leaves, so I did not panic and left it to nature to determine the next move. This is what is happening….

Little plants developing at the base of the older plant leaves. So if all goes well, I will have plenty of new C. barbata babes soon.

Morning sun is best. Regular light watering in Autumn and Spring, keep dry over dark month (s) and care watering over summer, rather move them to shady position in extreme heat/summer. Leave the plant alone after flowering and as it dies the new plant-lets will emerge.

So, what do you think of this little beauty? Hope you enjoy the post.

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Good blog... great photography :o)

29 Sep, 2012



29 Sep, 2012


Fascinating blog Lt :o)

29 Sep, 2012


It's a lovely plant, and looks very unusual and attractive. Pitty it dies after flowering, but it's nice that you can keep the new plantlets.

29 Sep, 2012


Thanks, glad you like it - the bearded one! It takes a few years to flower Hywel, so one can enjoy the plant and then once that's over the new plant-lets will double the fun.

30 Sep, 2012


great little plant Lt. thanks for sharing.

30 Sep, 2012


Pleasure Sandra.

1 Oct, 2012

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