Monday, March 5, 2012

Random plant event: Crassula perfoliata var. falcata

Crassulas and I do not work well together, as a rule. My Crassula ovatas get spots of fungus on them, the Crassula arborescens barely grows (and what growth it has is disproportionately small, and it drops leaves a lot besides), Crassula rupestris (or maybe C. perforata) lived for years without ever growing a root, and Crassula muscosa just dies over and over.

They're all my fault, to some degree or another: the C. ovata problems are likely because the way I water -- in the tub, with a shower head -- makes it impossible to avoid getting water on the leaves; I suspect the C. muscosas weren't solidly rooted when I bought them;1 the C. arborescens is likely not getting enough light. But still. This seems like a lot of problems to be having, for a genus that's supposed to be easy.

Crassula perfoliata var. falcata2 has been the exception, so far: no fungus, it has roots, it grows, the new growth looks like the old growth, etc. It's never even had a setback, in the almost two years it's lived here (I got it in June 2010).3 On the other hand, I was getting a little nervous, watching it get taller and taller: what was the end game here? How much taller can it get before something . . . happens? And what something will that be? Is it going to tip over? Branch? Bloom? Rot?

And now I have an answer:

That's a teeny-tiny offset (branch? Is there a technical difference?), beginning to grow from the base of the plant. So not only does it have no immediate plans to die, but it's actually interested in expanding. Nice to know. Here's a photo that shows a bit more context:


1 There's a good chance that this could have been overcome if I'd had a nice south window to put it in, but there's very, very little south-facing space here, and much of what there is is blocked for some of the day by our neighbors' house.
2 This plant is still better known in the horticultural world as C. falcata. I'm basing the ID off of information from The Timber Press Guide to Succulent Plants of the World (Fred Dortort), confirmed by Plant List.
3 In fairness to my other Crassulas, C. perforata var. falcata has one of the rare and coveted south-window spots. So it has unfair advantages.

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