In Latin Crassulaceae (crassus) means “thick”. Commonly known as the stonecrop family or the orpine family. So, these succulent flowering plants include over 1,400 species and about 35 genera. At this time they are typically found in the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Africa. Specifically in dry and/or cold areas where water can be scarce. Surprisingly, a few types are in fact aquatic.
Common Crassulaceaes are Sedum, Aeonium, Kalanchoe, Cotyledon, Echeveria, and Sempervivum. The three Subfamilies are Crassuloideae, Kalanchooideae, and Sempervivoideae.
Crassuloideae is the smallest subfamily. Consisting of two genera and about 250–300 species. Mainly from Southern Africa. In fact, it has the only aquatic species.
Kalanchooideae is the next smallest subfamily. In general it consists of four genera and 130–240 species. Specifically found in Madagascar and tropical Africa.
Sempervivoideae is the largest and most complex (taxonomically) subfamily. Consisting of about 20–30 genera, divided into five tribes. Specifically Telephieae, Umbiliceae, Semperviveae, Aeonieae, and Sedeae.
Almost all Crassulaceae are perennials. However, Tillaea are annuals. Annual species are also found among Aichryson, Crassula, Sedum and Monanthes.
Alternative Pronunciation: krass-yoo-LAY-see-eye
Meaning: Somewhat thickened foliage; diminutive of the Latin crassus (thick, fleshy)
Alt Pronunciation: KRASS-uh-la
Species: About 200
Meaning: From the Chinese name for one of the species.
Alternative Pronunciation: Kal-AN-cho
Species: about 125
Meaning: Named for Anastasio Echeverria y Godoy, 18th century Spanish botanist.
Alternative Pronunciation: ech-eh-ver-EE-a
Popular ornamentals and houseplants. Specifically for their compact symmetrical leaf rosettes.
Meaning: Always living, living forever.
Common name: houseleek or hen-and-chicks.
Low mat-forming succulents.
Meaning: Joint socket, cavity
Includes varieties of perennial shrubby leaf and stem succulents. Native to Southern Africa and the Arabian peninsula.
Other genera include Bryophyllum, Monanthes, Tylecodon, and Umbilicus.
Learn more about Crassulas
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