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Crassula perfoliata L. var. minor (Haw.) G.D. Rowley

Propellor plant, propeller plant

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderRosalesRose family and eight others
FamilyCrassulaceaeSucculents that store water in leaves
GenusCrassulaFrom the Latin crassus, “thick,” referring to the fleshy leaves
SpeciesperfoliataRefers to the stem which ‘perforates’ the stem
var.minorSmaller, lesser

About plant names...

Propellor plants are natives of southern South Africa, not found in the wild in North America. The common name refers to the leaves, which are shaped like the blades of a propellor.

Identification: These plants have grayish green leaves and grow to about 1′ (30 cm) tall (not counting the flower stalk). Leaves are succulent (thickened to store water), sickle-shaped, up to 3½″ (9 cm) x 1″ (2.8 cm) in size. They are often spotted or edged with red, and are edged with very small teeth. Flowers appear on a stalk about 1½′ (50 cm) in height, branching into a rounded or flat-topped flowerhead. Flowers range from bright red to nearly white, described by one source as a "bright red broccoli cluster." Individual flowers are up to ¼″ (7 mm) long.

Crassula perfoliata (propellor plant, propeller plant)

Crassula perfoliata var. minor in flower. By Groogle. 3/18/2010.

Online References:

The South African National Biodiversity Institute's web site, plantzafrica.com

Cactus Art: the World of Cacti & Succulents


Wikimedia Commons

Crassula falcata Wendl.


Crassula perfoliata var. minor description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Crassula perfoliata (propellor plant, propeller plant)

4/6/2011 · Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens, Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, Mary­land · ≈ 1½ × 1′ (52 × 34 cm)


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