Crassulaceae (krass-yoo-LAY-see-ee) is found almost everywhere around the world and have evolved gradually over 60 to 100 million years.
It is thought that about 70 million years ago there was a basal split between Crassuloideae and the rest of the family. The Crassuloideae lineage migrated into Southern Africa and other genera within Sedoideae migrated to Europe, Asia, Northern, and Central America.
Crassulaceae is also known as the stonecrop or orpine family.
These are fleshy, succulent herbs with regular hermaphrodite flowers.
Crassulaceae are generally known as herbs (herbaceous) but there are some subshrubs, a few treelike, and even aquatic plants in the family.
Most members of the Crassulaceae family possess five‐parted, actinomorphic flowers with 10 stamens in two whorls; however, this general floral pattern varies, with some genera having partially to completely fused petals.
“There from his rocky pulpit, I heard
The stonecrop: See how loose to earth I grow,Rev. R.W. Evans, quoted by Ann Pratt, ‘Wild Flowers’ (1857)
And draw my juicy nurture from the sky“.
5,557 scientific plant names of species rank for the family Crassulaceae. Of these 1,482 are accepted species names. The six subfamilies of Crassulaceae described by Berger in 1930 are Crassuloideae, Kalanchiodeae, Cotyledonoideae, Sempervivoideae, Sedoideae, and Echeveroideae.
Most Crassulaceae are monophyletic primitive members of the order Rosidae furthermore classified in the order Saxifragales.
Molecular phylogenetics, such as chloroplast DNA RFLP has shown that morphological characters and chromosome numbers in Crassulaceae. are so fragile that they cannot be used reliably to conclude evolution, even at low taxonomic levels. This confirms these plants are the same as they were 70 million years ago.
Science and Medicine derived from Crassulaceae plants is very intriquing.
Crassu Say What?
Crassuloideae is one of the few families that still have CAM as an active, photosynthetic pathway. The family is unique in which all its members are known to possess Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM photosynthesis).
The leaves of Kalanchoe pinnata (Crassuloideae) are used in Cameroon folk medicine to manage many diseases such as cardiovascular dysfunction.
Kalanchoe integra (Crassulaceae) has shown various pharmacological activities such as anthelmintic, immunosuppressive, wound healing, hepatoprotective, antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, nephroprotective, antioxidant, antimicrobial, analgesic, anticonvulsant, and antipyretic activities.
In respiratory disorders, boiled leaf extracts are useful in the management of acute and chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, bronchial asthma, and palpitation.
Rhodiola L. rosea (Crassulaceae) comprises 90 species of perennial herbaceous plants.
Rhodiola L. rosea has been widely used in Tibet to reinforce immunity, improve memory, and relieve altitude sickness for more than 1000 years. However, the high demand of Rhodiola for medicinal uses has led to overexploitation of many wild populations of this genus, driving them close to local extinction in the wild.
One genus in the family
Crassulaceae being, Crassula, has only five stamens making it haplostemonous.
Crassula plants will bloom in spring and summer.
Crassula (KRAS-ew-la) are popular tender succulents with a great diversity of forms and colors first described by Linnaeus in 1753.
There are currently over 200 species of Crassula recognized.
The genus is widely distributed, with species occurring in Africa, Madagascar, Europe, Asia, New Zealand, and Australia, with most species occurring in South Africa.
Crassula CareCrassulas are loved for the lack of care they require.
Crassulas generally started by division, offsets or leaf cuttings. Plants can be easily propagated from a single leaf: sprout leaves by placing them into a succulent or cacti mix, then covering the dish until they sprout.
Never let your Crassula sit in water. If you water from beneath by letting the plant sit in a saucer of water, make sure to pour off any excess water after a few minutes.
The Crassula Ovata is known in the Eastern world as a good luck symbol. It is said to bring good fortune to businesses.
Repot as needed, preferably during the warm season. To repot a succulent, make sure the& soil& is dry before repotting, then gently remove the pot.
Crassulas are susceptible to mealy bugs and fungal diseases. As with all succulents, overwatering is sure to be fatal, so err on the side of too dry rather than too wet.
Crassula are more likely to die from overwatering than forgetting to water.
Knock away the old soil from the roots, making sure to remove any rotted or dead roots in the process. Treat any cuts with a fungicide. Place the plant in its new pot and backfill with potting soil, spreading the roots out as you repot. Leave the plant dry for a week or so, then begin to water lightly to reduce the risk of root rot.