Crassula ovata

19 Jan

Crassula ovata (24/01/2016, Walworth, Southwark, London)

Crassula ovata (24/01/2016, Walworth, Southwark, London)

Position: Full sun to light shade

Flowering period: Late winter to early spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 1m

Eventual Spread: 60cm

Hardiness: 9b, 10a, 10b, 11

Family: Crassulaceae

Crassula ovata Mature (10/01/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Crassula ovata Mature (10/01/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Crassula ovata is an evergreen succulent plant with a bush habit. Its thick mid green shiny leaves have red margins are elliptic with entire margins, up to 8cm long and 4cm across. Its branches and trunk will become woody with age and its bark is smooth. Its small pink/ white flowers are star shaped and appear in terminal clusters. Its fruit are small capsules.

Crassula ovata Leaf (24/01/2016, Walworth, Southwark, London)

Crassula ovata Leaf (24/01/2016, Walworth, Southwark, London)

Crassula ovata, commonly known as Jade Plant, Friendship Tree, Luck Plant or Money Tree, is native to South Africa and Mozambique. In its native habitat it grows on dry hillsides in thickets with other succulents.

The etymological root of the binomial name Crassula is derived from the Latin crassus meaning ‘thick’, in reference to its leaves. Ovata is derived from the Latin ovatus meaning ‘egg shaped’, also in reference to its leaves.

Crassula ovata Flower (10/01/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Crassula ovata Flower (10/01/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

The landscape architect may find Crassula ovata useful as an attractive, undemanding houseplant suitable for bright conditions. Once established this plant is drought tolerant.

Ecologically, Crassula ovata flowers are attractive to pollinating insects.

The Royal Horticultural Society have given Crassula ovata their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Crassula ovata Bark (10/01/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Crassula ovata Bark (10/01/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Crassula ovata prefers moist, fertile, free draining soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It dislikes wet soils.

When maintaining Crassula ovata as a houseplant it requires a little water in the summer months (allowing to dry out between watering) and less during the winter months. Its preferred active growing temperature rages from between 15ºc to 24ºc. Once established feeding should be carried out every three months with weak fertiliser solution. Red Spider mite and Mealybugs may both be a pest problem on this plant.

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