This interesting group of succu- lents, mostly from South Africa, includes many plants with unusual geometric forms. Excellent drainage is a must be careful not to overwater. Most prefer full sun, but a few tolerate shade. All make excellent houseplants. Gardeners in the Tropical South can use them outdoors in containers, rock gardens, and borders.
C. arborescens. SILVER DOLLAR PLANT. Shrubby, heavy-branched plant is very similar to jade plant (C. ovata), but it's smaller, grows more slowly, and has gray-green, red-edged, red-dotted leaves. Star-shaped summer flowers (usually seen only on old plants) are white aging to pink.
C. ovata. JADE PLANT. Top-notch houseplant, large container plant anywhere; an excellent landscaping shrub in the Tropical South. Sometimes sold as C. portulacea. Plant has a stout trunk and sturdy limbs; stays small in container. Can reach 9 ft. high, half as wide, but is usually smaller. Leaves are thick, oblong, fleshy pads 12 in. long, glossy green, sometimes with red-tinged edges. 'Crosby's Dwarf' is a low, compact grower; variegated kinds are 'Sunset' (yellow-tinged red) and 'Tricolor' (green, white, and pinkish). 'Gollum' and 'Hobbit' have reddish, concave leaf tips. Clusters of pink, star-shaped flowers bloom in profusion, from fall into spring. Good near swimming pools.
C. perfoliata falcata. Grows to 4 ft. high, 2 ft. wide. Fleshy, gray-green, sickle-shaped, 4-in. leaves are vertically arranged in two rows on stems. Dense clusters of scarlet owers appear in late-summer.
C. pyramidalis. Interesting oddity grows 34 in. high and wide; flat, triangular, 1- to 5-in.-long leaves are closely packed in four rows to give plant a squarish cross section.
C. schmidtii. Mat-forming, spreading plant to 4 in. tall, 1 ft. wide, with slender, rich green leaves to 1 in. long. Clusters of small, dark rose or purplish flowers put on a show in winter and spring. Good choice for pots or rock gardens.
C. tetragona. Upright plants with treelike habit, 12 ft. high and a little narrower. Narrow, 1-in.-long leaves. Inconspicuous white flowers. Widely used in dish gardens to suggest miniature pine trees.