Monday, 6 July 2015

Two hardy Crassulas

Crassula is a huge genus of mostly tender succulents from Africa. Two species however have proved hardy enough, given a well drained soil and full sun, to do well in UK gardens.

Crassula sarcocaulis
Crassula sarcocaulis
A neat little succulent shrub, like a tiny bonsai tree with narrow green leaves and heads of rich pink flowers in summer.
Crassula sarcocaulis
Very tough – at least in the south and west of the UK, and especially if kept on the dry side in winter.
3in pots ~ £5




Crassula sp.
Crassula sp
An unnamed species, almost certainly from southern Africa – forms a minuscule film of tiny green leaves on the surface of the compost – very like a moss, but sprinkled with rosy pink flowers in summer.
Crassula sp
Don’t be alarmed when the whole thing seems to dry up and blow away in autumn – it comes back in spring. Remarkably tough and easy given sun and good drainage – perfect with miniature bulbs or under dwarf shrubs.
3in pots ~ £5



x Chitalpa tashkentensis

x Chitalpa tashkentensis
A hybrid between Catalpa and Chilopsis. Most of us know what a Catalpa looks like, but Chilopsis is less familiar - it's a willowy looking shrub (known locally in the south-western USA as Desert Willow) with masses of pink Catalpa type flowers in summer among narrow leaves and is very lovely. Unfortunately Chilopsis does not grow well in the UK, probably because of the unpredictable damp climate. The hybrid though (created in the botanical gardens in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, hence the name) is an excellent and adaptable substitute, making a large shrub or small tree, flowering freely in late summer. Any well-drained soil in sun.
These are vigorous young plants.
1L pots ~ £12




Chlorogalum pomeridianum

Chlorogalum pomeridianum
The Soap Lily - a relative of Yucca, Agave, Polianthes and Camassia from the western USA. Simple but very elegant white asphodel type flowers are produced on tall rigid stems over a long period in summer above rosettes of undulating grey leaves. Hardy and easy to grow in full sun on a very well-drained soil.
2L pots ~ £9