Tuesday, 17 February 2015

CRASSULA IN THE BOTANIC GARDENS

We are very fortunate in Melbourne to have a world class horticultural institution in the form of the Royal Botanic Gardens. There is something to enjoy there each and every season and every day of the year. A couple of weeks ago we visited there and enjoyed amongst other things a splendid display of Crassula perfoliata in bloom.

Crassula perfoliata, also known as Crassula falcata, is given the common names 'airplane plant' and 'propeller plant' (because of the fanciful resemblance of the leaves to propellers). It is a succulent plant endemic to South Africa, from the Cape of Good Hope. The foliage is gray-green with striking texture, on plants that grow to 0.61 m tall. The flowers are tiny and scarlet red, that rise in dense clusters above the foliage for a month in summer. This is a choice plant for use in drought tolerant and succulent gardens, and in container gardens.

This plant flowers during summer (November to February). Plants are pollinated by butterflies and the seeds are dispersed by the wind. The plants grow on outcrops and ledges in full sun. Plants are initially solitary but may sometimes have up to three heads later. During wet conditions the leaves become very turgid and during dry spells they become flattened and tinged reddish.

It grows easily and is best planted on rockeries in full sunlight. It would be excellent for dry thicket gardens. In regions where frost is experienced, it is best grown in containers in a greenhouse, or on windowsills under controlled conditions. Propagation is easily effected by division, leaf cuttings or seed. Seed germinates within 3 weeks and plants should flower in the fourth year. Leaf cuttings can be made during spring or summer and rooted in clean sand. They must be kept moist. Sulphur should be applied as a fungicide to wounds.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.





1 comment:

  1. So colorful and fresh clicks! The last one with the honey bee is perfect!

    ReplyDelete

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