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Trees of the year
Trees of the year









Scientific name:Crassula ovata

Family: Crassulaceae

Synonym(s): C. argentea, C. portulacea

Common names:  jade plant, pink joy (E), beestebul, kerkij, kerky, plakkies (A) t'karkai (Khoi), umxhalagube (X)plantofthemonthmay2017

Crassula ovata


Description: Crassula ovata is a much branched, evergreen shrub grows at about 1 - 3 m tall with stems up to 20 cm diameter.

Leaves are 30 -90 mm long and 18 - 40 mm wide, glossy, dark grey-green, oval, succulent and rounded heads often with red margins. The leaves grow in opposing pairs. Old leaves are deciduous.

The stem is stout and gnarled and gives the impression of great age, and its branches are also short and stubby but well-proportioned. Branches are succulent, grey-green in colour and in older specimens the bark peels in horizontal brownish strips

Flowers small white or pink, are star-shaped.

Flower Flowering Time: plants flower during the late winter.

Origin: South Africa and Mozambique

Plant uses: The Khoi and other African tribes ate the roots, they were grated and cooked after which they were eaten with thick milk. The leaves were also used medicinally, boiled in milk as a remedy for diarrhoea, and used to treat epilepsy, corns and as a purgative.

Propagation: C. ovate can be propagated from cuttings or offsets taken in spring.



Court, D. 2010. Succulent flora of Southern Africa: Revised Edition. Struik Nature Publishers

Joffe, P.1993. The gardener's guide to South African Plants. Tafelberg, Cape Town. 

Van Wyk, B. and van Wyk, P. 2009. Field guide to trees of South Africa. Struik Nature Publishers


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