Fairy Crassula
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Fairy Crassula
E Introduced Photo: Anil Thakur
Common name: Fairy Crassula, Pitted crassula, London pride, London's pride, Mosquito Flower, Cape Province Pygmywee
Botanical name: Crassula multicava    Family: Crassulaceae (Sedum family)
Synonyms: Crassula quadrifida, Septimia multicava

Fairy Crassula is a variable evergreen fleshy species embracing a full range from perennial trailing ground cover plants to small almost erect subshrubs which stems are very brittle and soft, and pieces will easily break off and lead to the establishment of new plants. Flowers are 4-merous, with flower-cluster-stalk 3-8 cm long. Flower-stalks are 3-8 mm long. Sepals are triangu­lar, 1-2 mm long, tip pointed and ridged, hairless, green sometimes tinged red. Flowers are star-shaped, fused at base for about 0.5 mm, cream or white and usually tinged red to­wards tips, petals narrowly triangular, 3-4 mm long. Stamens have purple anthers. It rarely exceeds 30 cm tall in the landflowering stem and is even lower when grown in dry shade. The leaves are round, dark green and lustrous in the shade and paler green when grown in more sun and speckled with small white or red spots. In winter appear the flowers which are pink in bud and then open to little white stars as a spray above the foliage on reddish stems. Perfectly formed tiny plantlets are borne on the flowering stalk after the completion of flowering. Stem is prostrate to nearly erect, reddish green in age, branches rarely longer than 40 cm, sparsely branched, with old leaves not deciduous. Fairy Crassula is native to Southern Africa, cultivated elsewhere.

Identification credit: Anil Thakur Photographed in cultivation in Shimla.

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