Friday, June 27, 2014

Crassula multicava 'Purple Dragon'

Crassula multicava 'Purple Dragon'
The plain green form of this succulent is quite weedy. It is called a 'sleeper weed' as in 'one to watch', for it has the potential to become a 'transformer weed' by changing a habitat and displacing native vegetation. Able to grow in shade and spreading rapidly in sandy soils it has been noted in littoral rainforest and I suspect that it has been introduced as a result of being used in those coastal holiday parks where owners with a cabin or caravan may create a small garden to enhance their surrounds or define a boundary. "I want to plant a garden which survives when we are not here", the story goes. The appeal is the sprays of fluffy pink flowers, general neat appearance and ability to grow in sand.
It remains to be seen whether this red form follows suit into the weed category. A nursery colleague who grows it for sale in hanging baskets told me "it seeds and comes up in trays all along the benches."    Warning bells?
I am growing it in a pot as it is a nice foliage contrast to silver foliage plants nearby. The less water it gets the more the leaves curve back to reveal their attractive purple/red side. It grew rapidly and has stayed compact and is now topped with attractive dark pink flowers, and that said I won't be growing it commercially.

1 comment:

  1. I have just bought this at a nursery - I loved the leaf. I do grow the plain one but try to keep it contained - it's a sentimental plant as it grew in my parents' garden. Thanks for the warning, anyway! Deirdre