CRASSULA COCCINEA

Also known as Red Crassula or Keiserkroon, the Crassula coccinea is endemic to the Western Cape and occurs on sandstone outcrops. I was fortunate to come across this specimen as we were leaving Silvermine two years ago.

The plant has overlapping, oval-pointed, fleshy, hairy-edged leaves that are arranged symmetrically around the stem. These have a tendency to turn reddish during dry spells. As the plants get older the bottom of the stems turn brown and dry with the bright green, new leaves at the tips. The name Crassula comes from the Latin crassus (thick), a reference to the fleshy leaves, while the species name coccinea (scarlet) is derived from the Greek coccos, which is the berry of the scarlet oak used to make a red dye.

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6 thoughts on “CRASSULA COCCINEA

  1. So the beauty they contain is revealed only in a drought? Another of nature’s paradoxes. (Or did I misunderstand your reference to the leaves’ “tendency to turn reddish during dry spells.”)

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    • Hello Albert, like the aloes I featured earlier, it is the green fleshy leaves that take on a reddish tinge during dry spells. The flowers are not drought-dependent.

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