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CRASSULA tetragona

Image of Crassula tetragona

James H. Schutte

Family

Crassulaceae

Botanical Name

CRASSULA tetragona

Plant Common Name

General Description

The narrow, almost needle-like foliage and sparsely branched, shrubby, tree-like habit of this South African native have caused it to be misleadingly dubbed "miniature pine." In fact, it's an evergreen succulent closely related to jade plant (Crassula ovata). The apple-green, awl-shaped leaves occur in well-spaced pairs along fleshy upright stems that can reach waist height. Dense clusters of small creamy-white flowers appear at the branch tips in spring and summer. Butterflies and hummingbirds visit the flowers.

Like most succulents, this plant prefers fast drainage, whether grown in gardens or containers. Water it occasionally in summer, and sparingly in winter. It prefers full sun, but in hot climates requires midday shade. It will tolerate a couple of degrees of frost. Remove spent flower clusters to improve appearance and prevent seedlings (this species has escaped gardens in California via self-sowing). Potted plants may be kept indoors over winter, or grown as house plants.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 12

  • Sunset Zone

    8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Cactus or Succulent

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    1'-3' / 0.3m - 0.9m

  • Width

    1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Indeterminate

  • Native To

    South Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Xeric/Desert, Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Light Green

  • Bark Color

    Tan, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Houseplant, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes