A zone 3 hardy... something?

Submitted by Lori S. on Fri, 03/05/2010 - 13:20

Hmm, I wonder if this is the appropriate forum for alpine succulents?

This Crassula sp., bought labelled as such from Beaver Creek last year, is certainly looking very lifelike (first photo) as the snow melts off here...
Could it be? :o
The second photo shows flowers from last year. Any thoughts as to the species or hybrid? I would assume, simply on the basis of its reported hardiness, that it's likely from the Drakensberg, or a hybrid of those species??


Submitted by Lori S. on Fri, 03/05/2010 - 13:23

Oh, checking back to the Beaver Creek website, what do I see!!

"6888 Crassula sp. $5.00
2" x 6" Zone 5
New to our list this spring is a fine hardy Crassula collected in the Drakensberg Mts of South Africa by Panayoti Kelaidis; it forms low mounds of fleshy glossy green leaves & bears an abundance of dark pink blooms; has proven fully winter hardy in at least one Montreal garden so it should prove hardy through Zone 5 & possibly even colder - our thanks to Ross Greenberg for sharing this great little succulent with us."

Wow!   8)

Submitted by Kelaidis on Sat, 03/06/2010 - 13:49

O my Gawd, how long will I be haunted by this one mistake, (the only mistake--of course--I have ever made in my life!)...And you had to put me in RED! I wish I could blame someone else: we apparently juggled some accessions one year and I mistook Sedum obtusifolium for one of the myriad Crassulas I was growing back then...Check this out: http://www.sunscapes.net/images/Sedum%20aff.%20stoloniferum%2040%25%202.... On the BRIGHT side, this is a superb little sedum, and quite anomalous (it has little bulbs, for one thing).

I have absolutely no doubt there will be many hardy crassulas: beginning with Crassula setulosa in many different subspecies. Especially the tiny ssp. curta which has grown superbly in very cold places in the Colorado mountains. I have pictures of this somewhere: it is a really pretty little thing that loves moisture and coolth: it is occasionally sold as Crassula sedifolia or something ridiculous like that, and maybe even Crassula milfordiae. Whatever name it is under, get it and enjoy.

I have lots of transparencies of this, but can't recall if I have digital images: if so on another computer: someone out there probably has some I'll bet.

Submitted by Lori S. on Sat, 03/06/2010 - 16:17

Ooops, so sorry!  (Hows about I at least get rid of the red highlighting?)  Well, it shows how much I know about Crassula to not even question it!   :-[  Off to correct my records... which, of course, I have never, ever had to do before either.   ;D

Submitted by RickR on Sat, 03/06/2010 - 22:06

I thought the same thing, but I thought I remembered my S. obtusifolium having slightly scalloped or toothed leaves. 

Mine always comes up very late in the spring in my trough.  Is this the pattern of growth for you too, Lori?

Submitted by Lori S. on Sat, 03/06/2010 - 22:22

This plant is evergreen, Rick.  The photo is from 1 week after the snow cleared off (and it looked the same last weekend as the snow melted off it).  This being the end of its first winter, I have no history on it yet...  ???

Submitted by Lori S. on Sat, 03/06/2010 - 23:02

Interesting comments on Sedum obtusifolium at this site:

To wit:  "Sedum obtusifolium [Phedimus obtusifolius]
This species has a growth pattern that makes it stand out as very unusual in the Sedum world. In the fall it has rosettes of large flat leaves right at soil level. In the spring the stems get longer until the middle of summer when it blooms. Star-shaped flowers have rose-purple petals with a white blotch visible at the base. After blooming, they go totally dormant and look dead but come full circle in the fall with rosettes of flat leaves at soil level."

Hmm, there is the odd plant that is supposed to have a summer dormancy that doesn't, in this short season (e.g. Lilium candidum)... Well, I'll just have to see what it does through the coming season.

Submitted by RickR on Sun, 03/07/2010 - 21:12

I am going to have to look at mine more closes this season.  It isn't summer dormant here either.  If it is supposed to continue spring growth started in fall, that would explain its very late start in spring, since winter foliage hasn't been evergreen for me.  Hmmm...

Submitted by RickR on Thu, 03/18/2010 - 22:13

Since I got it in 2007, this is the first winter S. obtusifolium has been evergreen!  (bottom right of the photo.)  I see also that leaves are not scalloped as I had thought I remembered.  And gosh, has it ever weathered the weather well on the north side of my house.  The leaves look as though they just emerged.  We did have good snow cover this season.

Now Mark, doesn't that look like a heck of a cactus?  No "jumping" spines, just most excellent, beautiful ones.  That's Echinocereus coccineus, already beginning to fill up with water from it's shrunken winter form, and calling your name...