Dress code: silver beads

Crassula deltoidea

As one of the most drought-adapted members of the Crassula genus, C. deltoidea is an intriguing addition to any succulent collection – either in a pot or as a feature border plant. Also known as Silver Beads or Jade Necklace, the creamy white flowers which appear between August and September are urn-shaped in compact, rounded clusters on short stalks. The sweet scent indicates that the plant is probably pollinated nocturnally by moths. Fruits are small capsules which release dust-like wind-dispersed black seeds.

Forming a dense 50-mm high mound, it can spread up to 100 mm. The triangular leaves are always covered to a greater or lesser extent with a grey flaking wax layer – giving the plant a lovely greyish or even whitish appearance.

As is the case with all Crassula species, Silver Beads is a cinch to cultivate. Propagate from leaf cuttings at any time of year to bulk up your collection. You’ll need well-drained gritty soil with a low organic content, good ventilation and bright light.

Because this is a dwarf novelty plant, rather cultivate it in a pot and place on a sunny windowsill. Outdoors it should be in full sun and watered sparingly. Overwatering is the easiest way to kill this plant with fungal attacks! To replenish its nutrients, repot your Crassula deltoidea after it doubles in size or once a year—whichever comes first.

Photo by Thomas Koffel. Ref:worldofsucculents.com; greg.app; pza.sanbi.org.