A sweet, sickly smell appeared in the room. It got fainter, then suddenly intensified and became unbearable with its suffocating sweetness. But the owners of the flat were most of all tormented with uncertainty: where does the smell come from? They approached a wide windowsill cluttered with potted flowers. A collection of assorted cactuses and succulents has been in deep hibernation. Other greens did not blossom as well. So, it was not the flowers. They pushed furniture, cleaned the flat wondering if jam, juice or beer were not spilled by accident somewhere: everyone smelled something different.
Rare flowering of a Crassula
It is hard to say for how long the family would have suffered from obscurity if not for the co-worker, who asked the owner of the “sweet” flat to stop by the adjacent room at the office.
– The cactus blossomed, I’ve already got a headache because of the smell, – said the colleague. She pulled out the cactus-box with different plants from the windowsill and pointed at an unattractive white star of a Mammillaria flower.
Crassula : Photo
The same thick, luscious smell that was tormenting the family came from the box… But the humble cactus never smelled like this before, besides it hasn’t bloomed at home yet.
The women were looking at a small plantation and couldn’t figure out the smell. And only when they approached closely, they noticed that the slender twigs, that looked like small fir trees and had been planted to decorate the cactus pot, were entirely covered with tiny pale green flowers! Well, who would have thought that these seedlings are able to bloom! And with such a strong smell.
A hitherto unnamed “fir” turned out to be Crassula muscosa – the closest relative of the familiar to all crassula portulacea, also known as a monkey or money tree, a lucky plant. Crassula is noted for its incredible diversity of species – from trees to ground cover plants. On the Internet and in the Encyclopedia of indoor plants there is a description of 25 species, not counting other relatives of the Crassulaceae family: kalanchoe, sedum, rochea, aeonium, Echeveria – altogether 47 species.
Crassula :Review and History
Crassula portulacea (silver) is the most common species as a house plant. It is a small succulent tree, reaching a height of 1-2 meters in the nature, with a stem up to 30 cm and an abundantly branching crown. The leaves are elliptical or oblanceolate, 2-6 cm long, 1-2.5 cm wide, bright green, shiny, sometimes reddening at the edges, with silver dots on the upper side. The flowers are about 1 cm long, white with a touch of pink. At home – in South Africa – it grows in dry thorny bushes in stony and clay soils.
Crassula muscosa is a half-shrub up to 30 cm high, with slender straight, branched, fleshy stalks. Small, triangular, rounded, egg-shaped, short-pointed light green leaves are opposite, sitting heavily on the entire length of the stem. Each pair of leaves is placed crosswise in relation to the other one. Each leaf covers half the length of the next one consecutively and tile-like, as a result the tetrahedral, very fine delicate stems are formed. It breeds easily. It can be grown as a basket plant.
Crassula is undemanding, it does not require special care. All year round it is kept in the sun, in winter it can withstand a temperature drop to 10-15 degrees. Watering is mild all year round, in winter – no more than 1-2 times a month. Feed it once a month. It is bred by stem cuttings or leaves. Like all succulents, it should not be put in water for rooting. Do not cover it with glass or film, otherwise it will rot. Instead, the cuttings are air dried for one to two days. Sometimes a rooted leaf shows no signs of life. But this is deceptive, it quickly gains strength later.
Crassula is considered to be a plant of a Capricorn, it helps him achieve success and improves his health. It is useful to all other signs too, as it promotes good mood. In Japan this plant is called the tree of happiness. It is given to the newlyweds for a wedding. It is believed that while there is a Crassula growing in the house, happiness will not abandon it.
According to the Chinese teachings of feng shui, Crassula is a money tree. To attract money it is recommended to put it by a window in the south-eastern sector of the house. There is an interesting sign: if a ten-year-old Crassula is blossoming in the house, prepare a bag for the money.
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