Crassula capitella subsp. thyrsiflora (Aka. ‘Caput Minima’)

Crassula capitella subsp. thyrsiflora (‘Caput Minima’) after I brought it home on 8-25-17, #116-13.

Pagoda Village, Red Pagoda

Crassula capitella subsp. thyrsiflora

KRASS-oo-la kap-ih-TEL-uh

Aka. Crassula ‘Caput Minima’

Synonyms of Crassula capitella (*11) (Updated on 12-16-22 from Plants of the World Online): Turgosea capitella (Thunb.) Haw. (1821)
Synonyms of Crassula capitella subsp. thyrsiflora (20) (Updated on 12-16-22 from Plants of the World Online): Aloe pertusa Haw. (1804), Crassula caffraria Hunnem. ex Link & Otto (1821), Crassula corymbulosa Link (1821), Crassula luederitzii Schönland (1929), Crassula nuda Compton (1932), Crassula punctata L. (1759), Crassula rodogyna Friedrich (1960), Crassula thyrsiflora Thunb. (1778), Crassula turrita Thunb. (1778), Purgosea corymbosula Loudon ex Steud. (1841)(orth. var.), Purgosea corymbulosa (Link) Sweet (1830), Purgosea pertusa Sweet (1830)(orth. var.), Purgosea pertusula Haw. (1828), Purgosea punctata (L.) Sweet (1830), Purgosea thyrsiflora (Thunb.) Sweet (1830), Purgosea turrita (Thunb.) Sweet (1830), Sedum corymbulosum (Link) Kuntze (1898), Turgosea pertusa (Haw.) Haw. (1821), Turgosea thyrsiflora (Thunb.) Haw. (1821), Turgosea turrita (Thunb.) Haw. (1821)

Crassula capitella subsp. thyrsiflora (Thunb.) Toelken is the accepted infraspecific scientific name for this plant. It was named and described as such by Hellmut R. Toelken in the Journal of South African Botany in 1975. It was first named Crassula thyrsiflora by Carl Peter Thunberg in the same publication as Crassula capitella. in 1778.

Crassula capitella Thunb. is the accepted scientific name for this species of Crassula. It was first named and described by Carl Peter Thunberg in Nova Acta Physico (short version) in 1778.

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.

I think this plant is native to southeastern Namibia, central Natal, and parts of the Cape Province in Africa.


Crassula capitella subsp. thyrsiflora starting to flower on 10-11-12, #121-3.

I bought this plant from Lowe’s in August 2012. The label simply said Crassula ‘Caput Minima’. Thanks to Margrit Bischofberger of the International Crassulaceae Network for giving me the correct name in 2013.

Crassula capitella subsp. thyrsiflora at 2 3/4″ tall x 3 1/4″ wide on 11-23-12, #131-13.

To say the least, this plant was really neat! I thought it was AWESOME how it started growing and flowering!

Its leaves are generally bright green but can take on brownish or reddish hues especially when stressed due to lack of water. Some websites also say it turns redder in more sun.

Crassula capitella subsp. thyrsiflora on 2-17-13, #139-20. The last photo of it taken at the mansion in Leland, Mississippi.

Information on Llifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) states Crassula capitella subsp. thyrsiflora is a prolific, mat-forming succulent with many branches when in flower. Its leaves are arranged in four ranks and sometimes in a spiral.

<<<<2013 NOW IN MISSOURI>>>

Crassula capitella subsp. thyrsiflora 4″ tall x 5 1/2″ wide on 4-16-13, #143-5.

I sold the mansion in Mississippi to a group that turned it into a bed and breakfast. Dad asked me to move back to the family farm in mid-Missouri to help with the farm. So, in February 2013 that is what I did. I gave up several hundred plants but I brought most of my succulents and a few others.

Family: Crassulaceae
Origin: South Africa
Zones: USDA Zones 9a-11 (20-40° F)
Size: Not sure…
Light: Sun to part shade
Soil: Fast-draining potting soil. Good quality potting soil amended with pumice (50/50) or additional perlite and chicken grit (2-1-1).
Water: Needs average water needs during the growing period, sparse in winter.
Flowers: Summer/late fall/early winter.
Propagation: Leaf cuttings. They fall off on their own.
Maintenance: Trim back after flowering.


Crassula capitella subsp. thyrsiflora in the kitchen windowsill on 5-27-13, #150-1.

I placed the plant on the kitchen windowsill with a few other succulents so they could get better light. Mom, who was 81 at the time, used to raise African Violets so I had to keep dumping water from their saucers almost every day. I tried to explain to her that these were succulents and they didn’t need water. She just smiled… She had dementia or something and she passed away on November 30, 2015. She was a very sweet old lady but she was very opinionated when she was younger. GEEZ!

Crassula capitella subsp. thyrsiflora on 6-25-13, #158-1.

I took most of the potted plants I bought with me outside for the summer but I kept this plant inside.

Crassula capitella subsp. thyrsiflora on 8-23-13, #178-37.

Once the plant finishes flowering, it falls apart and the leaves that hit the ground will take root. Some information also suggests the plants become more compact as they mature…

Crassula capitella subsp. thyrsiflora on 12-7-13, #208-24.

I really liked this plant but I had to part with it in the summer of 2014. Someday I will find another one and try it again. Next time, I will follow the rules and trim it back after it finishes flowering and see how it behaves.

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.


4 comments on “Crassula capitella subsp. thyrsiflora (Aka. ‘Caput Minima’)

  1. Frank Samson-b says:

    Howdy, Mr. Miller! Long time, no talk (“type”, actually). I hope all is well with you. I was researching a Crassula species and happened across this old post of yours. And, coincidentally, a friend-of-a-friend recently shared a photo of this same plant, in-situ, in it’s native environment in South Africa. So, maybe it was “meant to be” that I came across your blog again, huh? Have you been able to acquire another one of these plants? If you ever do grow it again, I highly suggest growing it in more sun than it was receiving according to the pictures in your article/blog post. On your counter-top, it appears to have been etiolating quite a bit due to its lack of exposure to direct sun. I’ll try to see if I still have your email address and send over a couple pictures to you of what the plant looks like in more-ideal lighting situations. Well, until then, sir, have a great day & a fantastic weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello there Frank! The problem with many succulents here is that I didn’t have a suitable place to overwinter them. So, as a result, they would stretch all out of whack over the winter. Therefore, I had to stop growing certain genus/species of succulent. Now that I have a shelf in a south facing window I may try a few others again. Crassula is one genera that need bright light over the winter. Thanks for the comment and great to hear from you again.


  2. Gina Peterson Menera says:

    Lowe’s has this plant again. I bought one on June 1, 2021

    Liked by 1 person

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