Crassula arborescens subsp. 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


Crassula ovata undulata ‘Jitters’

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

The genus, Crassula L., was named and described as such by Carl von Linnaeus in the first volume of the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753. 

As of 12-16-22 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online by Kew lists 210 species in the Crassula genus. It is a member of the plant family Crassulaceae with 36 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.


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

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 could be Silver Dollar Plant and Silver Jade Plant.

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

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 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.

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: Very well-draining. Good quality potting soil amended pumice (50/50) or additional perlite and chicken grit (2-1-1).
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 the 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.

Just remember, Crassula arborescens subsp. undulatifolia is a SUBSPECIES not a VARIETY (VAR.) and Crassula ovata var. undulatifolia is an incorrect name.

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant.


2 comments on “Crassula arborescens subsp. undulatifolia (RIPPLE JADE) (Aka. C. ovata undulata ‘Jitters’)

  1. Vishal Chady says:

    Hi, are C.arborescens var undulatifolia and C.ovata var undulata the same plant?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello there, Chady! If you have a plant that was labeled Crassula ovata var. undulatifolia and it looks like the plant in my photos, it is most likely a Crassula arborescens subsp. undulatifolia. The plant I bought was labeled Crassula ovata undulatifolia. To my knowledge, and from the information I have read, there is no Crassula ovata with a variety or subspecies called undulatifolia. Crassula arborescens subspecies (subsp.) undulatifolia is a correct and accepted scientific name but it isn’t a variety (var.). Understanding botanical language can be confusing, but I have an earlier post explaining it somewhat. I updated this page after you made your comment. I hope this helps and don’t hesitate to ask more if you have them. Thanks for vititing and thanks for the question.


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