ISI 2011-23. Crassula ‘Pangolin’ J. Trager

In 1962 Myron Kimnach crossed C. barkleyi (then known as C. teres) with C. perfoliata var. minor (as C. falcata). This cross resulted in the popular C. ‘Ivory Pagoda’ (first distributed as ISI 1074 in 1978). This was a bit of a trick since C. barklyi is winter-flowering while C. perfoliata var. minor usually flowers in summer, with an odd flower out of season. In 1998, I had no flowers of the latter available, so I chose pollen from a hybrid of it (possibly with C. tecta), with hot-pink flowers, to pollinate C. barklyi. Of three seedlings produced, two resembled weaker versions of C. ‘Ivory Pagoda’. The third stood out for its robust 3 cm diameter branches with tightly packed, imbricate leaves giving it the appearance of a pangolin, one of those odd armadillo-like mammals with armor of overlapping, leathery scales. The heads of creamy-white flowers have a delicious honey-like fragrance more reminiscent of that of C. barklyi than the clove-scented C. perfoliata var. minor. Rooted cuts of HBG 104726, $10.

Photo © 2011 by John N. Trager. Images may not be used elsewhere without permission.

Published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal, Vol. 83 (2), March - April, 2011