Crassula arborescens ssp. undulatifolia-RIPPLE JADE (Aka. C. ovata undulata ‘Jitters’)

Crassula arborescens ssp. undulatifolia on 5-31-12, #95-9.

Ripple Jade
Crassula arborescens ssp. undulatifolia
KRASS-oo-la ar-bo-RES-senz un-dew-lay-tih-FOH-lee-uh
INCORRECTLY MARKETED AS:
Crassula ovata undulata ‘Jitters’

This is another succulent that was given to me by the owner of Pleasant Acres Nursery in Leland, Mississippi in May 2012. The label said Crassula ovata undulata ‘Jitters’ which I found out was incorrect. Margrit Bischofberger of the International Crassulaceae website corrected the name as Crassula arborescens ssp. undulatifolia. The common name for this plant is Ripple Jade. I think the common name for Crassula arborescens may be Silver Dollar Plant and Silver Jade Plant.

Crassula arborescens ssp. undulatifolia on 8-10-12, #114-37.

Crassula arborescens subsp. undulatifolia Toelken is an approved infraspecific taxon of Crassula arborescens. It was named and first described by H.R. Toelken in the Journal of South African Botany in 1975.

Crassula arborescens (Mill.) Willd. is the correct and accepted scientific name for this species. It was first described as such by Carl Ludwig Willdenow in Species Plantarum, 4th Edition, in 1798. It was first described as Cotyledon arborescens by Philip Miller in Gardener’s Dictionary, 8th Edition, in 1768.

Crassula aborescens ssp. undulatifolia on 11-23-12, #131-15.

Crassula arborescens subsp. undulatifolia is one of two accepted subspecies of Crassula arborescens. It is found in the southern parts of the Klein Winterhoek Mountains of the Eastern Cape in Africa. It is actually described as a succulent tree with blue-grey foliage with a thick fleshy trunk. The leaves are somewhat twisted looking. This plant, in the wild, can grow to a height of around 9′ tall. Plants typically grow in sandstone and shale-derived soils in rocky to gravel-like conditions. They often occupy large areas on hills, slopes and sometimes cliffs but are also found in valleys but with a preference for sunny and exposed situations.

This WAS a neat plant… Shortly after I brought it home, it got a bad infestation of brown scale. I picked them off for a while but finally had to go to Lowe’s and buy a GardenSafe insecticide/fungicide/miticide. The product was OMRI approved and didn’t have a lot of harsh chemicals. It worked pretty well. I later went out to the nursery to take some plants and told her about the brown scale. She said she hadn’t noticed, so I went to check hers. They were LOADED and dying.

Crassula arborescens subsp. undulatifolia on 2-17-13, #139-25.

USEFUL INFORMATION:
Family: Crassulaceae
Origin: Eastern Cape in South Africa
Zones: USDA Zones 9-11 (20-30° F)
Size: 3-4’ tall x 2-3’ wide
Light: Sun to part shade
Soil: Potting soil amended with extra grit and perlite
Water: Average water during the growing period, slight in winter.
Propagation: Stem cuttings
Uses: Used as a houseplant where not hardy
Concerns: Brown scale and mealybugs

I moved from Mississippi back to the family farm in mid-Missouri in February 2013 and I brought this plant with me. I ran out of spray and went to the local hardware store… They didn’t have anything organic, and what they had smelled like alcohol. Well, I bought it anyway. Within a few days My Crassula arborescens ssp. undulatifolia was DEAD!

Maybe someday I will find another and hopefully it won’t have an infestation of brown scale.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, I would like to hear from you.

 

FOR FURTHER READING:
INTERNATIONAL CRASSULACEAE NETWORK
LLIFLE (ENCYCLOPEDIA OF LIFE)
SAN MARCOS GROWERS
PLANTS OF THE WORLD ONLINE

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