Crassula expansa subsp. expansa

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Botanical Name
Crassula expansa subsp. expansa
Crassulaceae - The crassula family.
KRASS-oo-la ek-SPAN-sa subsp. ek-SPAN-sa
Common Name(s)
Plant Group
  • Ground Cover A plant with a low-growing, spreading habit, grown specifically to cover the ground.
  • Succulent A plant having fleshy stems or leaves often adapted to dry conditions.
Plant Size
  • Very Small
    Tree3m to 4m
    Shrub25cm to 50cm
    Perennial/ground coverUp to 10cm
    Bulb10cm to 20cm
    SucculentUp to 5cm
  • Light or Dappled Shade Found below trees with sparse, open foliage. Ideal for the protection of herbaceous plants.
  • Partial Shade The area is in shade for part of the day and in full sun for part of the day.
  • Sun The area is in full sun for all or most of the day, all year round.
General Information
  • Drought Tolerance: Moderate The plant is moderately adapted to arid conditions and can survive short periods of drought and high temperatures without extra water.
  • Evergreen Plants that have leaves all year round.
  • Sand tolerant Plants adapted to survive in nutrient poor, very sandy soils.
  • Water Moderate These plants will need some extra watering compared to water-wise plants. Plant them together, in at least some shade and in a convenient proximity to the house so that grey water can be utilised during times of drought.
Specific Information

A dwarf perennial succulent. Leaves appear on jointed stems that can reach up to 40 cm in length. Leaves vary from pale green to reddish, some specimens having a distinct red marking on the upper surface of the leaf. The leaves are succulent, narrow and boat shaped (0.6-2cm long and 0.2-0.4cm wide). This is a resilient little plant, able to tolerate full sun and dry conditions, but with only a moderate tolerance to drought. It grows very well in light and partial shade, quickly spreading outwards to form rounded clumps. As with many ground hugging crassulas, it deteriorates soon after flowering, but this period does not last for much more than a month or two, after which it quickly re-establishes itself. Useful for miniature gardens.

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tiny solitary star-shaped flowers on the ends of the branchlets.

  • Summer Plants will seldom bloom for the entire season as given in the list, but should flower during a period within these parameters.
  • white
Growth Rate
  • Moderate to Fast Specifying growth rate can be very misleading as there is considerable variation of growth rate depending on type and species of plant, available water, supplementary feeding, mulching and general care, as well as the plants suitability and adaptability to the garden environment.
Plant Uses
  • Container Trees, shrubs and ornamental species that can adapt to growing in a restricted environment.
  • Edging A low growing plant that provides softness or definition to the edges of a bed or walkway.
  • Filler Either a fast growing tree or shrub used temporarily to fill in an area while the permanent plants grow to a desired size, or a plant used to fill gaps in borders or beds.
  • Foliage Plant Plants grown because their foliage is colorful or unique. Many of these plants have insignificant flowers.
  • Ground Cover Low-lying plants that spread fast, require minimal maintenance, and cover large expanses or bare areas between bulbs or shrubs. They provide protection from erosion and drought and improve the visual appearance of the garden.
  • Rock Garden An area constructed of larger rocks, arranged naturally, to emphasise the use of stones as a main element. Generally plants used do not need a lot of care.
  • Suitable for coastal gardens Plants adapted to dry, sandy soil, forceful wind, limited rainfall and intense sunlight.
  • Suitable for smaller gardens Such plants do not have invasive root systems, remain small or controllable and can often be grown in containers.
Distribution and Habitat

in all provinces of South Africa, and north throughout tropical and sub-topical Africa, in sandy soil and often near the ocean

Planting Suggestions

This little crassula thrives best if planted where it can have some shade, at least during the hottest part of the day. By positioning it under other plants or below a tree it is then also protected it from light frost. Good drainage is essential or the plant will rot, so clay is out but most soils will do. Thrives in shade with occasional watering and is remarkably useful around the garden to soften edges and fill open spots. The rooting system is very shallow and the clumps fall apart plant, water the location lightly the evening before. Check the soil and if it appears very impoverished, mix some organic matter into the soil before watering. Loosen the soil of the chosen spot and make a shallow depression about the same circumference as the plant clump. Keep the clump contained.Place the clump in the depression and just snuggle the roots into the loose soil below, using only the fingertips. Tuck some soil under the outer edges and sprinkle some of the loose soil over the plant - just enough to help anchor the roots. Press any bits that have separated from the clump into the loose soil around the mother plant. Water lightly to settle the soil without runoff. A thin layer of mulch can be scattered around the plant to conserve water, but too much mulch prevents it from spreading readily.

Medicinal Uses

No data found.

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