Crassula atropurpurea

Crassula atropurpurea


Crassula atropurpurea var. watermeyeri

Crassula atropurpurea var. watermeyeri is a small, succulent perennial up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall. It has larger leaves than Crassula…

Varieties [ edit ]

Var. atropurpurea [ edit ]

The type variety is the most widespread and variable in appearance. Key features for identifying it include:

  • The leaf surface is smooth or papillate, but never hairy.
  • There are 3-4 (rarely 2 or 5) pairs of sterile bracts along the stem of the inflorescence.
  • The pointed, canaliculate (grooved) petals are papillose.

In addition, the stems of this variety are usually erect branches (woody at base, new shoots pubescent). The new leaves are erect, becoming spreading and eventually falling off with age. The leaf shape is typically oblong to oblanceolate (max. 6cm long), flattened with a convex outer/lower surface. They are cuneate at the base, and obtuse at the apex. Around the Langeberg and Swartberg mountains, as far west as Worcester, some forms can have slender, pointed leaves.

This variety occurs from Worcester and Swellendam in the west, as far east as Port Elizabeth, as well as around the Swartberg mountains. Its habitat is usually dry, rocky slopes and outcrops. [2]

C. atropurpurea var. atropurpurea inflorescence, showing the many pairs of sterile bracts

C. atropurpurea var. atropurpurea showing smooth leaves, and 3-4 bract-pairs along the flower stems.

C. atropurpurea var. atropurpurea

C. atropurpurea var. atropurpurea showing its more or less erect branches.

C. atropurpurea var. atropurpurea

Var. anomala (Schonl. & Bak. f.) Toelken. [ edit ]

A distinctive south-western variety. Key diagnostic features include:

  • The leaves and stem are covered in erect hairs.
  • There are 1 (rarely two) pairs of sterile bracts along the stem of the inflorescence.
  • The petals have very prominent dorsal appendages (canaliculate on the inside).
  • The stems are a few decumbent-to-erect branches, fleshy and relatively thick (4-8 mm).

In addition, the leaves are green to yellow-green (becoming reddish in drought or direct sun). The leaf shape is nearly always obovate to orbicular, with obtuse apices.

This variety occurs from Table Mountain in the west, to Montagu in the east, and north into the Bokkeveld mountains. It is very common in the Robertson Karoo. Its habitat is usually more sheltered rocky ledges, on south-facing slopes. It cooccurs with var. muirii ("rubella"), but anomala has much thicker stems, as well as leaves and stems with erect hairs. [3] [4]

Var. muirii (Schönland) R.Fern. (formerly rubella (Compton) Toelken) [ edit ]

Another south-western variety. Key diagnostic features include:

  • The leaves and stem are covered in blunt/ad-pressed/recurved hairs (pubescent).
  • There are 1-2 (rarely 3) pairs of sterile bracts along the stem of the inflorescence.

In addition, the stems are erect branches, wiry and slender (2-4 mm). Leaves are grey-green to reddish-brown. In habitat they are distinctively reddish around the leaf-margin, where the hairs are slightly longer (though not in a single row). The leaf shape is obovate, with obtuse apices.

This Karoo variety occurs from Worcester, eastwards to Prince Albert and northwards to the Cedarberg. Its habitat is usually exposed shallow soil on dry, sunny rocky hilltops. [5]

Var. cultriformis (Friedr.) Toelken. [ edit ]

From quartzite gravel slopes and dunes in the far north, near Garies. [6]

Var. purcellii (Schonl.) Toelken. [ edit ]

From Karoo slopes of sandstone/quartzite rocks, from the Anysberg and north of the Witteberge mountains, as far west as the Cedarberg mountains. [7]

Var. watermeyeri (Compton) Toelken. [ edit ]

From arid sheltered rocky crevices across the Namaqualand. [8]

Crassula atropurpurea var. anomala – Succulent plants

Crassula atropurpurea var. anomala is a beautiful, small succulent plant with upright stems which grows up to 15 cm tall. The leaves are small, fleshy, oval-shaped and tightly packed, lush green and can develop vibrant red edges. The tiny, white flowers bloom from red buds atop tall stalks.

Scientific Classification:

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Crassuloideae
Genus: Crassula

Scientific Name: Crassula atropurpurea var. anomala (Schönl. & Bak.f.) Toelken
Synonyms: Crassula anomala (basionym), Globulea atropurpurea var. anomala

How to grow and maintain Crassula atropurpurea var. anomala:

It thrives best in bright light with some direct sunlight. A sunny windowsill will be an ideal position for these plants. They will not flower without sunlight and inadequate light will cause developing spindly growth.

It grows well in well-drained soil with a neutral pH. Add coconut coir and Pine bark to make the soil more drainage friendly.

Water regularly, during the growing season (April to September), but water sparingly when dormant (autumn and winter). Allow the top of the soil to slightly dry out before watering again.

It prefers ideal room temperatures of around 60°F – 75°F / 15.5°C – 24°C. During winter no less than 50°F / 10°C. Cold weather and damp weather is not good. It loses its color and turns yellow and mushy.

Fertilize every two weeks during the growing season, from spring through summer with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half. Do not fertilize during the winter.

Re-pot in spring when the plant becomes root bound or the soil needs renewing. A good solid and heavy pot is best to use because of these plants are well known for being top-heavy. A heavy pot will prevent them from tipping over.

It can be easily propagated by stem cuttings, leaf cuttings or by basal offsets. The cuttings or offsets should be taken in spring. Take 2-3 inch long stem cuttings and plant it in a 2-3 inch pot of equal parts mixture of peat moss and sand and keep it at normal room temperature in the bright filtered light.

Pests and Diseases:
It has is no serious pest or disease problems. But they are susceptible to mealy bugs, aphids, and fungal diseases. Overwatering may cause the roots to rot.

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