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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.


Annual, perennial herb, shrub, glabrous (hairy). Stem: erect to decumbent, branched or not. Leaf: opposite, 0.1–7 cm, linear to deltate or obovate, bases fused, ± sheathing; margins generally entire. Inflorescence: terminal panicle or flowers 1 in axils of leaves, either 2 per node, axillary, or 1 per node, terminal but appearing axillary by overtopping of main axis. Flower: erect, sepals 3–5, ± fused at base; petals 3–5, spreading or recurved, free or ± fused at base; stamens = sepals in number; pistils 3–5. Fruit: spreading to erect. Seed: 0.2–0.6 mm, elliptic to elliptic-oblong (spheric, reniform), generally with longitudinal lines, sometimes ± smooth or papillate, red-brown.
± 250 species: especially Africa, annual ± worldwide. (Latin: diminutive of thick) Crassula argentea Thunb., a synonym of Crassula ovata (Mill.) Druce, a waif.
Unabridged references: [Moran 1992 Cactus and Succulent Journal 64:223–231]

Key to Crassula

1. Perennial herb to shrub; leaves generally > 10 mm; flowers in terminal inflorescence, many

2. Leaves linear to narrow-deltate, ± cylindric ..... C. tetragona

2' Leaves obovate to ovate or wide-elliptic, ± flat

3. Perennial herb; stems erect or decumbent; leaf ovate to wide-elliptic, petiole 5–20 mm; pedicel 3–8 mm; petals generally 4, 3–4 mm ..... [C. multicava subsp. multicava]

3' Shrub; stems erect; leaf obovate, petiole ± 0; pedicel 8–12 mm; petals generally 5, 7–10 mm ..... [C. ovata]

1' Annual; leaves generally < 6 mm; flowers in leaf axils, 1–2 per node, or terminal, 1

4. Flowers 1 per node (or terminal); sepals ± 1/2 petals; seeds >= 3; plants generally aquatic or on wet substrates (e.g., seeps, vernal pools, ditches); stems ± decumbent to ascending, generally rooting at nodes

5. Seeds with ± regular, continuous, longitudinal lines at 20×, ± dull or shiny but not glistening as if wet; follicles subtruncate at tip, suture abruptly outcurved in distal 1/4; sepals 0.5–1.5 mm, ovate to oblong ..... C. aquatica

5' Seeds with irregular, interrupted, longitudinal lines at 20×, shiny, glistening as if wet; follicles oblique-acute at tip, suture gradually outcurved in distal 1/2; sepals 0.4–1 mm, deltate-ovate to lanceolate ..... C. solieri

4' Flowers generally 2 per node; sepals >= petals; seeds (1)2; plants generally terrestrial but not on wet substrates; stems ± erect, not rooting at nodes

6. Flower parts generally in 3s; pedicels generally < 0.5 mm ..... C. tillaea

6' Flower parts generally in 4s or 5s; pedicels generally > 1.5 mm

7. Flower parts generally in 5s; leaves generally 4–5 mm, tip acute, with short awn or point; petals ± 1.2 mm, lanceolate ..... C. colligata subsp. lamprosperma

7' Flower parts generally in 4s; leaves generally < 4 mm, tip acute to rounded, without awn or point; petals generally < 1.2 mm, narrow-deltate ..... C. connata


Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
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