Miscellaneous

Crassula setulosa - Hairy Cushion Crassula

Crassula setulosa - Hairy Cushion Crassula


Scientific Name

Crassula setulosa Harv.

Common Names

Hairy Cushion Crassula

Synonyms

Crassula setulosa var. setulosa, Crassula setulosa f. setulosa, Crassula bloubergensis, Crassula impressa, Crassula scheppigiana, Crassula stachyera var. pulchella

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Crassuloideae
Genus: Crassula

Description

Crassula setulosa is an attractive, flowering, dwarf, cushion-succulent. It grows naturally as a dense mat, forming a convex cushion, sometimes up to 16 inches (40 cm) wide and up to 4 inches (10 cm) tall (up to 10 inches/25 cm in flower). The species is very variable in appearance throughout its distribution especially with regard to its leaves which vary in size, shape and hairiness, but are typically up to 0.8 inch (2 cm) long and up to 0.4 inch (1 cm) wide, more often than not with a convex upper leaf surface, and tapering towards a point. Fine hairs are usually present on the upper leaf surface but hairless forms also occur. Leaves vary in color from bright green to grey-green in the very hairy forms. Depending on the form, flowers appear in midsummer through to autumn. They are small and cup-shaped with petal tips spreading from midway up the corolla tube, usually 0.12 inch (3 mm) in diameter, and white often tinged red. They cluster to form a dense inflorescence which can be up to 6 inches (15 cm) high. Flowers develop into small capsules which release fine dust-like seed.

How to Grow and Care

Crassula 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 Crassula 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.

Crassula are generally started by division, offsets or leaf cuttings. Plants can be easily propagated from a single leaf: sprout leaves by placing them into a succulent or cacti mix, then covering the dish until they sprout.

Repot as needed, preferably during the warm season. To repot a succulent, 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… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Crassula.

Origin

Native to Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.

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Crassula setulosa - Hairy Cushion Crassula - garden

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New records for the flora of Mount Mulanje, Malawi: Sansevieria sinus-simiorum Chahin. (Asparagaceae / Dracaenaceae), Crassula swaziensis Schönland and Crassula setulosa Harv. (Crassulaceae)

Joachim Thiede, 1 Pastor Theo Peter Campbell-Barker, 2 Bruce J. Hargreaves 3


Crassula setulosa - Hairy Cushion Crassula - garden

Botanical name

Crassula setulosa 'Milfordiae'

Other names

Crassula 'Milfordiae', Hairy cushion crassula 'Milfordiae', Crassula sediformis, Crassula sedifolia, Sedum crassularia

Genus

Variety or Cultivar

'Milfordiae' _ 'Milfordiae' is a tender, compact, mound-forming, evergreen, succulent perennial with dense rosettes of small, ovate, fleshy, sometimes red-flushed, bright green leaves and short, branching stems bearing small, star-shaped, white, rarely red flowers in summer.

Crassula setulosa 'Milfordiae' is: Evergreen


Crassula setulosa - Hairy Cushion Crassula - garden

Origin and Habitat: Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, widespread in southern Africa (Transvaal, Natal, Orange Free State, Cape), Lesotho and Swaziland.
Altitude range: Crassula setulosa is often more prevalent at higher altitudes particularly over 600 to 2050 metres above sea level.
Habitat: C. setulosa forms dense cushions in high-lying rocky outcrops, crevices and shallow soil pockets on shaded places on vertical or steep rock faces in woodland and dense mist forest, sometimes pendulous, and very rarely in undisturbed flat gravel areas. Growing on cliffs is an effective anti-herbivory mechanism. The geology on which they occur is varied and includes sandstone, granite, shale and basalt.

Accepted name in llifle Database:
Crassula setulosa Harv.
Fl. Cap. (Harvey) 2: 347 (1863)
Synonymy: 12

  • Crassula setulosa Harv.
  • Crassula bloubergensis R.A.Dyer
  • Crassula ramuliflora var. transvaalensis Schönland
  • Crassula scheppigiana Diels
  • Crassula setulosa var. basutica Schönland
  • Crassula setulosa var. lanceolata Schönland
  • Crassula setulosa f. latipetala R.Fern.
  • Crassula setulosa var. ovata Schönland
  • Crassula setulosa var. ramosa Schönland
  • Crassula setulosa var. robusta Schönland
  • Crassula stachyera var. pulchella Harv.
  • Sedum dregeanum var. adscendens Kuntze
Accepted name in llifle Database:
Crassula setulosa var. deminuta (Diels) Toelken
J. S. African Bot. 41(2): 118. 1975
Synonymy: 2
  • Crassula setulosa var. deminuta (Diels) Toelken
    • Crassula deminuta Diels
Accepted name in llifle Database:
Crassula setulosa var. jenkensii Schönland
Trans. Roy. Soc. South Africa 17(2): 239. 1929 [Mar 1929]

Accepted name in llifle Database:
Crassula setulosa var. longiciliata Toelken
J. S. African Bot. 41(2): 119. 1975

Accepted name in llifle Database:
Crassula setulosa var. rubra (N.E.Br.) G.D.Rowley
Cact. Succ. J. Gr. Brit. 40(2): 53. 1978
Synonymy: 8

  • Crassula setulosa var. rubra (N.E.Br.) G.D.Rowley
    • Crassula curta var. rubra N.E.Br.
  • Crassula barklyana Schönland
  • Crassula exilis auct. sensu Keissl. non Harv.
  • Crassula milfordiae var. Byles Byles
  • Crassula setulosa var. curta (N.E.Br.) Schönland
    • Crassula curta N.E.Br.
  • Sedum dregeanum var. erectum Kuntze

Description: Crassula setulosa is a small to robust, perennial succulent herb, that produces attractive tiny rosettes of fleshy, oval leaves usually less than a centimetre in length which are fringed with white small bristles (leaf margins). It forms very dense cushions or mounds sometimes up to 40 cm wide and 5-10 cm high (25 cm in flower), sometimes shortly stoloniferous. Crimson buds open into small, white or reddish flowers in summer. Flowers develop into small capsules which release fine dust-like seed. The whole plant generally clothed with spreading bristles but the larger leaves sometimes quite bare sometimes clothed on one side only. This species is exceedingly variable especially with regard to its leaves which vary in size, shape and hairiness with several different variety or forms, which, however, run into one another, some of them certainly mere variations without taxonomical value. There are five recognized varieties: the nominate variety, Crassula setulosa var.jenkinsii, Crassula setulosa var. deminuta, Crassula setulosa var. rubra and Crassula setulosa var. longiciliata.
Derivation of specific name: The name refers to the leaves being covered in small bristles.
Stem: Herbaceous more or less woody towards the base, slender, simple or branched from the base (thus seeming many-stemmed and caespitose) erect to prostrate, rooting, sometimes pendulous, rigidly hairy and to 23 cm tall and upright when flowering (usually shorter, sometimes dwarfed).
Roots: The root system is adventitious.
Rosettes: Very densely packaged, tiny, grey-green usually not more than 2.5 cm tall and 30-38 mm wide, each with about 2–10 leaf pairs close together. In winter the leaves are tinted bronze.
Leaves: Basal leaves in pairs, 4-ranked or densely packed in a rosette old leaves remaining on the stem. Blade membranous to slightly succulent, lanceolate, elliptic, oblong to oblanceolate 6-20(-35 mm long, (l-)2-10 mm wide, acute to pointed, flattened to more or less convex below but usually flat or channeled above, green tinged red, hydathodes present on margins and upper surface, hairy to hisoid on one or both surfaces and ciliate, (or glabrous except the margin). The margins entire, red-rimmed, minutely bristly to rigidlyciliate. Upper leaves (in the flowering stalk) sessile, lanceolate, hairy, opposite, reduced towards top.
Inflorescence:A few-or many-flowered, branched, hairy, terminal umbel with one to several dichasia with pedicellate flowers, with indistinct peduncles covered with triangular leaf-like bracts gradually shortening upwards.
Flowers: White to pale yellow-green inside, greyish-pink outside, with purple stripes, pendulous. Sepals triangular to lanceolate, 1-3 mm long, with or without marginal cilia and rarely covered with hairs, more or less fleshy, green to sometimes tinged red. Corolla tubular, fused basally for 0,4-0,6 mm, white often tinged red. Petals sub-connate at base, 2.5-4 mm long, oblong, acute or rounded, more or less recurved contracted in the middle white tinged red, with a projection. Stamens 2-3 mm long, anthers yellow or yellow-brown. Style shortly subulate one to two-thirds ovary length. Squamae almost square to oblong, rarely transversely oblong, 0,2-0,4(-0,8) x 0,3-0,7, mm truncate or emarginate, slightly constricted downwards, fleshy, yellow to orange.
Blooming season: Flowers Summer ( Late November until April in South Africa).
Fruits: Follicles (1.5)2-3(3.5) mm long (with the styles).
Seeds: Fine dust-like, about 0.5 mm long, subcostate-tuberculate.

Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Doreen Court “Succulent Flora of Southern Africa” CRC Press, 01/giu/2000
2) Hermann Jacobsen “A handbook of succulent plants: descriptions, synonyms, and cultural details for succulents other than Cactaceae” Volume 1 Blandford Press, 1960
3) Gerrit Germishuizen “Transvaal Wild Flowers” Macmillan South Africa (Publishers), 1982
4) Vera Higgins “Crassulas in Cultivation.” 1964
5) Gordon Rowley “Crassula: A Grower's Guide” Cactus & Company, 2003
6) Jacobsen “Lexicon of succulent plants” Littlehampton Book Services Ltd. 1974
7) Hermann Jacobsen ”A Handbook of Succulent Plants: Abromeitiella to Euphorbia” Blandford Press, 1960
8) 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/Aug/2011
9) Annabelle Lucas “Wild flowers of the Witwatersrand” Purnell, 1971
10) Braam Van Wyk, Sasa Malan, Timothy Kemper Lowrey, Anne Pienaar “Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of the Witwatersrand & Pretoria Region: Including the Magaliesberg & Suikerbosrand” Struik, 1988
11) Reader's Digest Association “A-Z of rock garden & water plants” Reader's Digest Association, 01/Dec/1995
12) Inez C. Verdoorn, L. E. W. Codd “Wild Flowers of the Transvaal” Trustees, Wild Flowers of The Transvaal Book Fund, 1962
13) Albany Museum (Grahamstown, South Africa) “Records” Volume 2 1913
14) Dr J.P. Roux “Flora of South Africa” 2003
15) Rowley, G. “Crassula, A grower's guide.” Cactus & Co. libri. 2003
16) Tolken, H. R. “Crassulaceae. Flora of Southern Africa.” Vol. 14. Botanical Research Institute. 1985
17) R. Fernandes “Crassula setulosa [family CRASSULACEAE]” in: “Flora Zambesiaca” FZ, Vol 7 Part 1, 1983
18) W. H. Harvey “Flora Capensis” Vol 2, page 327 1894
19) Adam Harrower, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden April 2011 . "Crassula setulosa Harv." SANBI - South African National Biodiversity Institute, South Africa. Web. 20 Oct. 2014.

Cultivation and Propagation: Crassula setulosa is a dwarf attractive flowering cushion succulent that needs more shade than others in the family, however it can tolerate full sun (where it stay compact) but a much better exposure is shade to light shade. It is an attractive plant in the garden when used in mass or in pockets within a rock garden and living walls and also is an easy to grow houseplant always a favourite carefree windowsill citizen, an excellent addition to any dish garden.
Exposition: Likes light shade to part sun (it will take a few hours of sun without a problem), but adapts very well to shade too. Likes a bit of shade for best colour in leaves. It can overwinters well also under grow lights in a cool room of the house.
Soil: Although it needs a soil that is gritty and porous with good drainage, the soil must be able to hold the moisture that the plant requires. The ideal soil should contain equal parts of loam with small gravel added (e.g. pumice or lava grit). Good drainage is essential.
Watering: During the summer growing period the plant appears to need much more water than the average succulent. Water when plant is dry and do not water again until the soil is completely dry again. Dislikes over-watering. Pay particular attention to make sure that they do not rot at the root from soggy soil. In a very humid situation in winter, it can rot even if totally dry. It likes dry air as much as dry soil.
Fertilization: Fertilizer should be applied only once during the growing season, diluted to ¼ the recommended rate on the label. During October to March, water very sparingly, using only enough water to keep the foliage from shrivelling.
Hardiness: It requires low temperature for flower formation and it will not flower unless it is overwintered for at least a month at 15° C or less. It is usually recommended to avoid freezing temperatures, but it can withstand temperatures down to below -5° C (or less) for short period if dry.
Pests and diseases: The tightly-packed rosettes are attractive to mealy bugs.
Uses: Perfectly suited for planting in gravel gardens, paved areas, rockeries and small containers. Try mixing with other succulents and alpines.
Uses and cultural aspects: There are no known uses for this plant.
Propagation: It is is propagated by the division of offshoots, rooted in sand or in dry vermiculite, and seed.


Crassula setulosa

Common names: None (proposed name – hairy-cushion Crassula)

Introduction

An attractive flowering dwarf cushion-succulent, drought tolerant and excellent for rockeries and living walls.

Description

Description

Crassula setulosa grows naturally as a dense mat, forming a convex cushion sometimes up to 40 cm wide and 5-10 cm high (25 cm in flower), usually in crevices and shallow soil pockets on vertical or steep rock faces. The root system is adventitious.

The species is very variable in appearance throughout its distribution especially with regard to its leaves which vary in size, shape and hairyness, but are typically 6-20 mm long and 2-10 mm wide, more often than not with a convex upper leaf surface, and tapering towards a point. Fine hairs are usually present on the upper leaf surface but hairless forms also occur. Leaves vary in colour from bright green to grey-green in the very hairy forms. The plant is highly branched giving rise to the dense mat of foliage.

Depending on the form, flowers appear in midsummer through to autumn. They are small and cup-shaped with petal tips spreading from midway up the corolla tube, usually 3 mm in diameter, and white often tinged red. They cluster to form a dense inflorescence which can be up to 15 cm high. Flowers develop into small capsules which release fine dust-like seed.

There are five recognized subspecies: C. setulosa var. setulosa, C. setulosa var.jenkinsii, C. setulosa var. deminuta, C. setulosa var. rubra and C. setulosa var. longiciliata.

Conservation Status

Status

C. setulosa var. deminuta is considered vulnerable in the 2009 Red Data listing. The other subspecies have no threat status.

Distribution and habitat

Distribution description

C. setulosa is often more prevalent at higher altitudes, particularly over 600 m, and its distribution stretches from the Eastern Cape in the south-west, being most prevalent in Lesotho (southern Drakensberg) and the northern Drakensberg mountains, and as far north as the Blouberg in the Limpopo Province.

Derivation of name and historical aspects

History

The epithet setulosa refers to the leaves being covered in small bristles.

Ecology

Ecology

Plants are usually found in rock crevices or shallow soil pockets in protected moist and shaded places on steep or vertical rock faces, and very rarely in undisturbed flat gravel areas. Growing on cliffs is an effective anti-herbivory mechanism. The geology on which they occur is varied and includes sandstone, granite, shale and basalt.

There are no known uses for this plant.

Growing Crassula setulosa

Crassulas are amongst the easiest plants to cultivate and this species is no exception. They can grow in virtually any type of soil but prefer soils with half gritty sand and half fine compost. They can grow in light shade or in sunny positions and make excellent cushion plants for rockeries or living walls. They are not demanding with water but will grow faster under moister conditions. Watering should take place at least once a week but they will survive with less.

This species is grown primarily for its very dense carpet-like cushions of bright green or grey foliage which looks very appealing in a rockery or container.

Plants can live for many years and will grow to neatly occupy the available space. This species tends not to flower much in warmer climates if at all which helps to keep the plants looking neat and tidy. However, if conditions are right they will flower and may self-seed themselves and replenish themselves naturally. Like many of the closely related Sedum species in Europe, this species is also particularly well suited for use in establishing an artificial living wall. Plants do not require much water and are resilient to dry spells. They also grow in full sun and full shade making them very versatile plants and seldom die back in large patches leaving bald spots which makes them particularly suitable for living walls.

Propagation is easy from cuttings, including leaf cuttings, at any time of the year which means they can be bulked up very easily. Cuttings can be tiny and only need to have a short section of stem with a few nodes and a few leaves. Insert them into a dry gritty growing medium and water them lightly. Keep the pot in a bright situation out of direct sunlight at first. Rooting should take place within 2 weeks. Once the plants show signs of having formed roots, move them to a sunny spot, and before long young plantlets will form, forming small rosettes which will rapidly become dense cushions.

If one could ever acquire seed, this could be sown in spring. Mix the dust-like seed with a small quantity of fine sand. Spread the sand evenly over the surface of the soil which should be the same as the growing medium. Water immediately, preferably from below by standing the pot in a tray of water every few days. Keep the soil moist like this for the first month or so. Before long, tiny green plantlets should appear on the soil surface. Start to let the soil dry out between waterings. Soon the plants will bulk up and if one achieves the ideal growing conditions, one can raise many thousands of plants like this. The use of a damping-off fungicide is advisable to prevent rot.

Occasionally plants suffer from fungal infections which appear as brown blotches on their leaves. This can be treated with a fungicide and good ventilation. Otherwise, they are essentially pest free.