Indigenous to South Africa, calico kitten is an evergreen succulent shrub and member of the stonecrop family, Crassulaceae, that also includes sedum, jade plant, and hens and chicks. It grows 2-4″ tall and has trailing stems bearing heart-shaped leaves of green, creamy white, and rosy pink. Star-shaped, upward facing, white flowers appear in spring and occasionally later in the season. In warm climates USDA Hardiness Zones 9 and warmer, the plants may be grown outside and are attractive in xeriscapes, wall gardens and rock gardens. They also do well in containers and can be grown as houseplants. The genus name, Crassula, is from the Latin word crassus, meaning thick and refers to the succulent leaves. The specific epithet, pellucida, is the Latin word meaning very bright and perhaps refers to the colorful foliage.

Type: Evergreen succulent shrub

Outstanding Feature: Foliage

Form: Sprawling

Growth Rate: Slow when young, faster with maturity

Bloom: Star-shaped white flowers in spring

Size: 2-4″ H with 12″ trailing stems

Light: Full sun to partial shade, bright light

Soil: Average, dry, very well-drained; water only when top 1″ of soil is dry

Hardiness: Zones 9-11

Care: Don’t overwater.

Pests and Diseases: Aphids, mealybugs, root rot (from over watering); sunburn can be a problem if plant is not carefully acclimated to full sun.

Propagation: Stem cuttings, leaf cuttings, division of pups

Outstanding Selections: Not Applicable

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

By Karen