Crassula falcata (Airplane plant) - Succulent plant from the Cape of Good Hope that grows to 2 feet tall (some sources say 3 ft but we've never seen it!) with gray-green 4 inch long by 1 inch wide sickle-shaped leaves that are arranged in overlapping pairs along a usually unbranched stem. Tiny scarlet red flowers are massed together in very showy dense clusters that rise above foliage in mid summer. The flowers open slowly and last for nearly a month when in full bloom. Attractive and interesting when not in bloom but a show stopper when the bright red flowers emerge. Plant in full sun to light shade in well-drained soil. Requires very little irrigation in coastal gardens, irrigate occasionally in hotter inland climates. Hardy to at least 20° F. This plant, long grown as Rochea falcata and then Crassula falcata is now correctly named Crassula perfoliata var. minor though we continue to list is a Crassula falcata until such time as this name is better recognized. The genus Crassula is a Linnaean name first used in 1753 and comes from the Latin word 'crassus' meaning "thick" that refers to the thick plump leaves of many of the genus. The specific epithet is from the Latin word 'falcat' and means "sickle shaped" with reference to the long narrow recurved leaves. These leaves radiate outward in opposite directions like wings, which gives the plant the common name "Airplane Plant". Another common name used for this plant is Scarlet Paintbrush, refering to the beautiful flowers.  This description is based on our research and observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We will also incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information about this plant, in particular if this information is contrary to what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Crassula falcata.

Crassula falcata