Crassula ovata (Miller 1768)
AKA: Jade Plant, Kerky Bush, Beestebul, Kerkij, Plakkies
Crassula ovata is a member of one of the largest families of succulent plants on earth, Crassulaceae. Most of the succulent crassulas are found in South Africa and a great many of those are found in the Klein Karoo. Crassula ovata occurs in the eastern end of the Klein Karoo and is found in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal in valley thicket vegetation. The plants tend to be single stemmed with shortish branches giving them a round squat look. They grow to a height of around 2.5 meters They are evergreen with almost not leaf drop. The leaves are green and quite succulent up to 90 mm long and 30 mm wide, some with red edges.
In The Garden
This plant is one of the most widely grown garden and container succulent plants in the world.It is fairly cold tolerant surviving without any damage at temperatures to -5 deg centigrade. It is very drought tolerant but will tolerate normal garden irrigation. They can be found in nearly every garden in the Klein Karoo. Crassula ovata is extremely easy to grow. Cuttings root almost immediately in damp, coarse soil. Some homeowners have planted them as hedges on their property. The true beauty of Crassula ovata is seen in winter.
They are blooming now (July) in the Klein Karoo. Flower range from normally white to pink. There are really spectacular forms found occasionally in nature and these have been selected and grown as cultivated varieties around the world.