ISI 2015-23. Crassula ‘Surprise Party’

C. mesembryanthoides is not to be confused with Crassula mesembryanthemopsis. The latter is the choice miniature that mimics the mesemb Frithia; the rosettes of flat-topped leaves resemble the gravel in which it grows. The similar-sounding C. mesembryanthoides doesn’t get the respect from horticulturists that its diminutive cousin does, just as the shrubby mesembs it resembles don’t, compared to the miniature, cryptic species. C. mesembryanthoides more closely resembles a shrubby mesemb like Delosperma echinatum but its leaves are more slender, spindle-shaped and are covered in fine, erect, pubescence. The species typically has white flowers, though C. ‘Surprise Party’ differs in its bright red-violet flowers. It is either an unusually colorful form of C. mesembryanthoides, or a hybrid in which that species dominates. It is unclear what other species might have imparted such festively-colored flowers, hence the cultivar name. Rooted cuts of HBG 119827, a plant from Seymour Linden. $6.

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Photo © 2015 by Karen Zimmerman. Images may not be used elsewhere without permission.

Published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal, Vol. 87 (3), May - June, 2015