Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Crassula aquatica

Higher Taxonomy
Family: CrassulaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to shrub [(+- tree-like or climbing)], fleshy. Leaf: generally simple, alternate or opposite, in dense to open, basal (or terminal) rosettes or basal and cauline, not in rosettes, reduced distally or not, margin often +- red. Inflorescence: generally cyme, generally bracted. Flower: generally bisexual; sepals generally 3--5, generally +- free; petals generally 3--5, +- free or fused; stamens >> to = sepals, epipetalous or not; pistils generally 3--5, simple, fused at base or not, ovary 1-chambered, placenta 1, parietal, ovules 1--many, style 1. Fruit: follicles, generally 3--5. Seed: 1--many, small.
Genera In Family: +- 33 genera, +- 1400 species: +- worldwide, especially dry temperate; many cultivated for ornamental. Note: Water-stressed plants often +- brown or +- red. Consistent terminology regarding leaves, bracts difficult; in taxa with rosettes (e.g., Aeonium, Dudleya, some Sedum), structures in rosettes are leaves, those on peduncles are bracts, and those subtending flowers are flower bracts; in taxa where inflorescence is terminal, rosette leaves may "become" bracts as stem rapidly elongates to form inflorescence. Seed numbers given per follicle.
eFlora Treatment Author: Steve Boyd, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: CrassulaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: 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. Chromosomes: x=(7)8.
Species In Genus: +- 250 species: especially Africa, annual +- worldwide. Etymology: (Latin: diminutive of thick) Note: Crassula argentea Thunb., a synonym of Crassula ovata (Mill.) Druce, a waif.
eFlora Treatment Author: Steve Boyd
Unabridged Reference: Moran 1992 Cactus and Succulent Journal 64:223--231
Crassula aquatica (L.) Schönl.
Habit: Annual, generally aquatic or on wet substrates. Stem: decumbent, +- erect if stranded, generally branched at base, rooting at nodes. Leaf: 2--6 mm, oblanceolate to linear, tip acute. Inflorescence: flower 1 per node, terminal; pedicel 0.5--20 mm. Flower: parts in 4s; sepals +- 0.5--1.5 mm, ovate to oblong, rounded to obtuse; petals > sepals, 1--2 mm, ovate to oblong. Fruit: erect, oblong, tip subtruncate; suture straight, abruptly outcurved in distal 1/4. Seed: 6--17, elliptic-oblong, +- dull or shiny but not glistening as if wet, with +- regular, continuous, longitudinal lines at 20×. Chromosomes: 2n=42.
Ecology: Salt marshes, vernal pools, margins of lakes, ponds; Elevation: < 3000 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCo, CaRF, SNF, GV, CW, SW (exc n ChI); Distribution Outside California: North America, Mexico, northern Eurasia. Flowering Time: Mar--Jun(Aug)
Synonyms: Tillaea aquatica L.; Crassula saginoides (Maxim.) M. Bywater & Wickens
Jepson eFlora Author: Steve Boyd
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Crassula aquatica

botanical illustration including Crassula aquatica


Citation for this treatment: Steve Boyd 2012, Crassula aquatica, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on November 28, 2020.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2020, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on November 28, 2020.

Crassula aquatica
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© 2003 George W. Hartwell
Crassula aquatica
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© 2003 George W. Hartwell
Crassula aquatica
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© 2007 Carol W. Witham
Crassula aquatica
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© 2003 Keir Morse
Crassula aquatica
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© 2016 Keir Morse
Crassula aquatica
click for enlargement
© 2003 Keir Morse

More photos of Crassula aquatica in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Crassula aquatica:
NCo, CaRF, SNF, GV, CW, SW (exc n ChI)
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


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Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).