With some 350 succulents in this genus, Crassulas are some of the most recognizable and widely cultivated. They come in a wide variety of sizes, rosettes, and colors. Arguably, the most common variety is Crassula ovata or Jade Plant. Pretty much any nursery sells it. And it’s often added to succulent arrangements. The genus Crassula is in the family Crassulaceae (pronounced krass-yoo-LAY-see-ee). Crassula can either be pronounced KRASS-oo-luh or KRASS-you-luh. Both are considered to be correct pronunciations. I actually use both pronunciations. Just depends on the day!
Succulents in the genus Crassula are native to South Africa. They include shrub (branching) varieties commonly called jade plants, as well as “stacked crassulas” with leaves pancaked along thin stems like the String of Buttons. Newer cultivars are more interesting. Although, just as easy to grow and well worth having. Keep an eye out for those with rippled or tubular leaves, diminutive varieties, and those variegated with gold, yellow, cream, pink or red.
Chinese Jade, Silver Dollar, Silver Dollar Jade, Silver Dollar Plant, Silver Jade Plant
Silver Dollar Jade is a popular houseplant. Indeed because of its rounded, blue-gray leaves with red edges. Learn more about the Crassula arborescens or Silver Dollar Jade in our post here.
Crassula arborescens undulatifolia
Common Name(s): Ripple Jade
Ripple Jade is a succulent plant in the stonecrop family that has the most wavy blue-green leaves of the Jade Plant Types. A popular houseplant or outdoor shrub. It can grow up to 4 feet (1.2 m) tall and rarely blooms in cultivation.
Crassula capitella 'Campfire'
Common Name(s): Campfire Plant, Red Flames, Campfire Crassula
This fast growing succulent has green, propeller-shaped leaves that can turn bright red in full sun or cool weather.
Common Name(s): Crassula corymbulosa ‘Red Pagoda’, Red Pagoda, Pagoda Village, Shark’s Tooth Crassula, Red Pagoda Crassula
Red Pagoda is a fast growing succulent with pointy, propeller-shaped leaves. In fact they can turn from green to bright red in full sun or cool weather. Indeed a fascinating succulent whose triangular leaves are densely packed like origami.
Common Name(s): Pagoda Village
Pagoda Village has stacked triangular leaves that resemble the shape of a pagoda. In fact branches can grow up to 10 inches (25 cm) long. Leaves that are flatter and grow more downward vs the Red Pagoda. Leaves range from red, purple, and green. In mid-summer to early fall, look for tiny white or pink flowers.
Common Name(s): Green Bean
Crassula Congesta Green Beans have velvety, chubby leaves that look like little beans. Hence the name Green Beans. Typically they will grow to about 4 inches ( 10 cm) tall. However, in shadier spots they will typically only grow a single stem.
Oval leaves grow up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long. In late spring to early summer look for pale yellow or green flowers.
Common Name(s): Crassula ‘Dubia’
The crassula cotyledonis succulent is a unique succulent that is native to South Africa. A very low growing succulent plant with beautiful green leaves with a little shade of white. The edges of the leaves can turn light purple and light red if given too much sun. As it matures it can grow up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall. Additionally, small, beautiful, green flowers bloom in spring growing up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall.
Common Name(s): Propeller Plant, Airplane Plant
Certainly Crassula Falcata is an interesting succulent. Blue-grey propeller-shaped leaves are arranged in an overlapping pattern.
In summer, look for dense clusters of orange-red flowers. Learn more about the Propeller Plant in our post here.
Crassula David is a thick and low growing succulent with fleshy coin shaped leaves. In fact, they form dense leaves on a smaller bush that will only grow about 2 inches (5 cm) tall.
Common Name(s): Watch Chain, Rattail Crassula, Zipper Plant, Princess Pine
Crassula muscosa, also known as Crassula lycopodioides, is a sparingly to densely branched succulent. Stems start erect and then eventually trail over with tightly overlapping, scale-like leaves. Both of its Latin names refer to its resemblance to a clubmoss. Following heavy rain or watering, it can produce pale yellow to white flowers.
Crassula mesembryanthemoides has fuzzy green leaves. Stems can grow about a foot tall and turn woody over time.
Crassula mesembryanthemoides ‘Tenelli’ has long, slender leaves covered with silvery velvet that gives the plant a frosted appearance.
Crassula 'Morgan's Pink'
Crassula ovata 'Hobbit'
Common Name(s): Spoon jade, Hobbit Jade, Ogres Ears, Shrek’s Ears, Organ Pipe Jade Plant, Trumpet jade
Hobbit Jade comes in a variegated version that is just stunning. Read our Hobbit Jade care guide here.
Crassula ovata 'Hummel's Sunset'
Common Name(s): Golden Jade
Crassula ovata 'Minima'
Common Name(s): Baby Jade, Mini Jade, Dwarf Jade
Minima is a hardy, dwarf succulent. It forms thick branches and clumps, creating a fuller appearance. The rounded green leaves resemble a small tree or shrub.
As Minima matures it can grow up to 30 inches (75 cm) tall and about 20 inches (50 cm) wide.
Common Name(s): Calico Kitten, String of spades
Crassula pellucida is grown as a ground cover or hanging plant. Stems are a bit fragile. However, they root readily. Definitely requires very little maintenance.
Common name(s): String of Buttons, Baby’s Necklace, Necklace Vine, Stacked Crassula, Pagoda Plant
Synonyms: Crassula perfossa, Crassula conjuncta, Crassula nealeana
Crassula perforata Variegata
Common name(s): Variegated String of Buttons, Variegated Baby’s Necklace, Variegated Necklace Vine, Variegated Stacked Crassula
Common Name(s): Miniature Pine Tree
Tetragona has narrow, almost needle-like leaves. Sparsely branched, shrubby, with a tree-like habit. Definitely a unique looking succulent native to South Africa.
Plants in the genus Portulacaria are often confused with Crassula Plants. Specifically the Portulacaria afra varieties. Commonly called Mini Jade. However they are not a jade plant at all. Let’s review some of my favorite Portulacaria plants.
Common Name(s): Miniature Jade, Elephant Bush, Spekboom
Portulacaria afra Decumbent has small, round, apple green leaves. They stand out against their flexible red stems. Their common name Elephant Bush comes from the fact that it serves as the main food source for elephants in the wild. Visit our complete Portulacaria afra care guide here.
Portulacaria afra minima, commonly known as Elephant Mat, has tiny little leaves, not even the diameter of dark green peas strung on ruby red stems like a necklace, cascade downward from edges of pots and over crags and corners of rocks. Occasionally bursts pink flowers especially when stressed. Visit our complete Portulacaria afra care guide here.
The name Delosperma comes from ‘delos’ meaning evident and ‘sperma’ meaning seed. This genus includes more than 170 species of succulent plants. In fact, it was formerly included in Mesembryanthemum in the family Aizoaceae.