Crassula spathulata (Spathula-leaf Crassula)
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Crassula spathulata Thunb.
Crassula cordata, Crassula cyclophylla, Crassula latispathulata, Crassula lucida, Septimia spathulata, Septimia spathulata var. cyclophylla, Septimia spathulata var. latifolia
This species is native to South Africa (Eastern Cape, Western Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal).
Crassula spathulata is a low-growing succulent with prostrate or scrambling, sparsely branched stems and small, spatula-shaped leaves. The stems slender, often quadrangular, and up to 32 inches (80 cm) long. Leaves are green to yellowish-green and have tiny rounded teeth along margins that are often tinged red. They are up to 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) long, up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide, and attached to the stem with an up to 0.7 inches (1.8 cm) long petiole. Flowers are star-shaped, white often tinged red, and appear on branched inflorescences usually from summer to fall.
The specific epithet "spathulata" derives from the Latin word "spathulatus," meaning "spatula-shaped" and refers to the shape of the leaves.
How to Grow and Care for Crassula spathulata
Light: Crassula plants prefer full sun to partial shade. However, intense afternoon sun in the hottest period of summer can burn the leaves of the plants. Most Crassulas can be grown indoors if given enough light.
Soil: They are not particular about soil pH, but Crassulas require very porous soil with excellent drainage.
Hardiness: Crassula spathulata can withstand temperatures as low as 20 to 50 °F (-6.7 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b.
Watering: These plants have typical watering needs for succulents. Avoid overwatering by using the "soak and dry" method, where the soil is soaked with water, slowly drained, and left to dry out before watering again. Reduce watering in winter.
Fertilizing: Crassulas will benefit from a small amount of organic fertilizer in mid-spring when they start actively growing.
Repotting: Repot as needed, preferably in spring, at the beginning of a period of active growth.
Propagation: Crassulas are generally started by leaves or stem cuttings. They can also be grown from seeds and offsets.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Crassula.
Toxicity of Crassula spathulata
Crassula plants are generally nontoxic to people and pets.
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The small, ovate-rounded, spathula-shaped leaves have definite leaf-stalks (unlike the sessile leaves of Crassula pellucida). The base of each leaf is truncate or rounded (heart-shaped), and the leaves have rounded bumps along their edges.
The thin, prostrate stems of this species are sometimes square in cross-section.
Tiny pink-white, star-shaped flowers appear on branched flower stems in Autumn.