Crassula ovata 'Crosby Dwarf'
Common Names: Crosby dwarf, Crosby compact, Crosby red
Geographic Origin: ‘Crosby Dwarf’ is a popular cultivar of Crassula ovata that is only found in cultivation. However, the straight species is endemic to the rocky slopes, fields, hills, and ravines of South Africa, being very common within the Eastern Cape.
Description: The Crosby dwarf is a compact, multi-branching succulent that possesses shiny, yellow-green, pear-shaped leaves with red margins. Mature plants will develop a woody stem and thickened branches, while the leaves will become deciduous.
Both the foliage and form of the Crosby dwarf are smaller than the straight species, and the red margins are more defined. Although C. ovata will develop a tree-like form, C. ovata ‘Crosby Dwarf’ will not exceed 3 feet in height or width. At the same time, the straight species will form apical clusters of whitish-pink flowers from fall to spring, while the Crosby dwarf cultivar only flowers to late winter.
Cultivation and Care:
- Watering: Low
- Lighting: In order to preserve the red coloring, ensure that C. ovata ‘Crosby Dwarf’ receives at least 5-6 hours of sunlight each day. If growing indoors, site in a sunny window, or provide grow lights for the best growth.
- Cold tolerance: 25°F, USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11.
- Special Accommodations: C. ovata ‘Crosby Dwarf’ is slightly less frost tolerant than the straight species, and should not be exposed to temperatures below 30°F to prevent demise. However, the species is capable of tolerating down to 25°F for short durations if no moisture is provided.