Crassula the diminutive of the Latin 'crassus' meaning thick, alluding to the fleshy leaves and branches. Colorata from Latin meaning variegated, alluding to the variegated colour of the plant.
Distribution and status
Found southern South Australia, growing on sandy soils in seasonally inundated flats. Also found in Western Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)
Annual herb with erect stems to 15 cm long; little branched and mainly from the base. Leaves succulent, lanceolate to 6 mm long and 4 mm wide, slightly but abruptly constricted towards the base; flat to slightly convex above, more or less convex below, green to reddish-brown. Inflorescence in the axils of leaf-like bracts with pale-yellow to red flowers. Flowering between August and November. This variety differs from the other variety found in South Australia by have follicles (fruit capsule) laterally compressed, slightly constricted at the base, gradually constricted into slender styles; smooth, membranous, usually pale, whereas Crassula colorata var. acuminata has follicles almost cylindrical and slightly laterally compressed; abruptly constricted in the lower third and gradually constricted into a slender style, with a cluster of crustaceous brown tubercles in the lower third but otherwise membranous. Fruits are small pale brown capsules in clusters along the stems. Seeds are tiny brown ellipsoid seed to 0.5 mm long and 0.3 mm wide, smooth.
Seed collection and propagation
Collect seeds between October and December. Collect whole plants that are drying off, turning red-brown with mature fruit-spikes. These will contain very small brown seeds when rubbed with your fingers. Place the plants in a tray and leave to dry for two weeks. Then rub the plants gently by hand or with a rubber bung to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. Be very careful as the seeds are very small. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place. From one collection, the seed viability was high, at 100%.
|Location||No. of seeds|
|45,200 (2.89 g)|
45,200 (2.89 g)