Crassula 'Coralita'


Scientific Name

Crassula 'Coralita'

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Crassuloideae
Genus: Crassula

Description

Crassula 'Coralita' is an attractively compact succulent up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall. Leaves are plump, grayish, covered with fine, very short white hairs and form an x-shaped pyramid. Coral pink flower clusters appear in fall on up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long stalks.

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Crassulas are easy to grow, but they are susceptible to mealy bugs and fungal diseases. As with all succulents, overwatering is sure to be fatal, so err on the side of too dry rather than too wet. Never let your plant sit in water. If you water from beneath by letting the plant sit in a saucer of water, make sure to pour off any excess water after a few minutes.

These succulents are generally started by division, offsets or leaf cuttings. Crassulas can be easily propagated from a single leaf. Sprout leaves by placing them into a potting mix for succulents, then covering the dish until they sprout.

Repot as needed, preferably during the warm season. To repot your Crassula, make sure the soil is dry before repotting, then gently remove the pot. Knock away the old soil from the roots, making sure to remove any rotted or dead roots in the process. Treat any cuts with a fungicide. Place the plant in its new pot and backfill with potting soil, spreading the roots out as you repot. Leave the plant dry for a week or so, then begin to water lightly to reduce the risk of root rot.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Crassula.

Parentage

Crassula 'Coralita' is a hybrid, by Myron Kimnach, between Crassula suzannae and Crassula perfoliata var. minor (formerly known as Crassula falcata).

Links

  • Back to genus Crassula
  • Succulentopedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus

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Crassula 'Coralita' - garden

Origin and Habitat: Crassula corallina is widely distributed from the Free State and Eastern Cape to the Richtersveld in South Africa, and south-western Namibia.
Habitat and ecology: It grows in quartzite outcrops in desert-like habitat and dry floodplain. The plant spreads, forming a dense mat that may assist in retaining moisture longer around its own tuberous underground reservoir. Plants may rarely persist for a long time and then develop a thick stem and a thick main root (in subsp. macrorrhiza the branches are always thinner than the very much swollen tap root). The the area is often cold and snowy instead of excruciatingly hot in its blooming season.

Description: Crassula corallina or "Coral Crassula" is a low growing, spreading, mat forming succulent plant with a sedum-like growth. Its tiny white frosted leaves resemble sea coral (hence the name). Looking closely, the pitted leaf spots that cover the leaf surfaces enhance the coral-like appearance. It should be about the smallest (and hardiest) of all Crassulas. The fragile, leaves and stems detach easily when touched. Flowers are small and partly concealed among the leaves.
Habit: Perennial herbs 2.5-8 cm hight, often with tuberous tap-root.
Roots: Fibrous or tuberous and succulent (subsp. corallina has mainly fibrous or slightly swollen roots while subsp. macrorrhiza has more or less tuberous roots, but all natural populations show some degree of variation among individuals, and in some all possible intermediates root succulence degrees occur.)
Stem: Erect, prostrate or decumbent, with branches up to 80 mm long often with adventitious roots, branched basally, above or dichotomously, sometimes woody below, covered by leaves with old dry leaves not deciduous.
Leaves: Opposite, stalkless, approximate or connate, deltoid obtuse almost rhombic, angular-obovate to nearly orbicular, usually abruptly tapering at tip, cuneate to subpetiolate at base, convex above and below, warty, grey-green to greyish brown with a flaking whitish-green waxy surface, and powdery at apex, 3-5(-6) mm long and 2-5 mm broad, longer than the internodes.
Inflorescence: Flowers solitary or few clustered in terminal umbellate corymbs or thyrses, often more or less fascicled. Flowers, partially obscured by the upper leaves
Flowers: Sepals 1-2 mm, broadly triangular, with blunt apices, glabrous, slightly fleshy, grey. Corolla urn-shaped to almost bag-like around each squama, scarcely fused, cream. Corolla-lobes (petals) 2-3.5 mm, obovate-oblong, rounded at tip, pouched below, reflexed above, recurved at apex, cream. Stamens 1.5-2 mm, anthers yellow style short or absent.

Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Crassula corallina group

  • Crassula corallina" href='/Encyclopedia/SUCCULENTS/Family/Crassulaceae/26951/Crassula_corallina'> Crassula corallina Thunb. : (subsp. corallina) has fibrous roots with branches up to 80 mm long, leaves angular-obovate, 3-5 mm long. Distribution: Free State and Eastern Cape to the Richtersveld and south-western Namibia.
  • Crassula corallina subs. macrorrhiza Toelken : has tuberous roots, prostrate stems usually without adventitious roots. Distribution: Bushmanland and south-eastern Namibia.

Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Doreen Court "Succulent Flora of Southern Africa" CRC Press, 01/giu/2000
2) John Wilkes “Encyclopaedia Londinensis” Volume 5 1810
3) Vera Higgins “Crassulas in Cultivation.” 1964
4) George Don “General History of the Dichlamydeous Plants” Vol.3 1834
5) Gordon Rowley “Crassula: A Grower's Guide” Cactus & Company, 2003
6) Jacobsen “Lexicon of succulent plants” Littlehampton Book Services Ltd. 1974
7) James Cullen, Sabina G. Knees, H. Suzanne Cubey "The European Garden Flora Flowering Plants: A Manual for the Identification of Plants Cultivated in Europe, Both Out-of-Doors and Under Glass" Cambridge University Press, 11/ago/2011
8) Dr J.P. Roux “Flora of South Africa” 2003
9) Domitilla Raimondo “Red list of South African plants 2009” South African National Biodiversity Institute, 2009
10) Werner Rauh “The Wonderful World of Succulents: Cultivation and Description of Selected Succulent Plants Other Than Cacti” Smithsonian Institution Press, 1984


In habitat. Photo by: Frikkie Hall
Crassula corallina Photo by: Frikkie Hall
In habitat. Photo by: Frikkie Hall
Crassula corallina Photo by: © Plantemania
Crassula corallina Photo by: Frikkie Hall
Crassula corallina Photo by: Frikkie Hall
Crassula corallina Photo by: Giuseppe Distefano

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Cultivation and Propagation: Crassula corallina are quite smart for the extremely dry circumstances where these plants grow. But not so difficult to grow if you remember not to over-water in the Summer when they're taking their rest. They can grow easily on window sills, verandas and in miniature succulent gardens where they are happy to share their habitat with other smaller succulent plants, or in outdoor rockeries. They are spring and autumn grower (summer dormant).
Soil: They prefer a very porous potting mix to increase drainage. A slightly acid or neutral soil is ideal. You can grow a plant in a 6-10 cm pot for years and have perfectly happy plants. For best results, use a shallow pot.
Watering: Winter grower, provide some water all year around, in the wild most of the growth occurs during spring and autumn- recommend water less in summer. During the winter months, water only when the soil becomes completely dry. Wet soil quickly causes root and stem rot, especially during chilly winter months, but can re-root if taken care of. No water should ever be allowed to stand around the roots. Low ambient humidity is always needed. Roots will rot in ever damp soil.
Fertilization: The plants are fertilized only once during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer diluted to ½ the recommended strength.
Sun Exposure: They need full sun or bright, filtered light with ample airflow to stay compact, generally needs full sun part of the day to bloom, but avoid direct blasting sun in mid summer (with sun exposure the leaf develops a nice reddish tint), they do not do well in full shade as they tend to etiolate, fall over and rot easily.
Pest & diseases: Crassulas are sensitive to mealybugs.
Rot: Rot is only a minor problem with Crassula if the plants are watered and “aired” correctly. If they are not, fungicides won't help all that much. Care must be given in watering, keeping them warm and wet while growing, and cooler and dry when dormant.
Hardiness: Although the plants will survive mild frost if kept dry (hardy as low as -5° C) they should be protected from frost to prevent scarring. USDA 9b-12
Use: It is an excellent potted plant great for windowsill culture as well as in rock gardens. Indoors only in brightest position.
Pruning: Remove old leaves from plant base and dead flower spikes only.
Propagation: They are easily propagated by the removal of off shoots, remove a lateral shoot and insert the basal part buried in the soil. This shoot should root within a month, and small offshoots will form at the base. They can also be grown from seed or leaf cutttings.


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