NEW SUCCULENT CULTIVARS
By MYRON KIMNACH
Publication in Cactus & Succulent Journal of America, N°01, 1959, pp.18-19.
In literature on succulents there has long been an unjust neglect of hybrids and other cultivars, due mostly to the traditional preference for species among collectors of these plants. Yet probably everyone prefers some succulent hybrids to many of the less interesting species, and as has occurred in other branches of horticulture it is likely that hybrids will eventually be the more popular.
Succulent cultivars have seldom been formally named, pictured and described in the literature, and much confusion has resulted; in addition, the often interesting story of their origin is usually left untold. The present series will introduce and discuss worthwhile plants recently originated by various hybridizers. We shall adhere to the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants, edition of 1958, and to avoid future misidentifications a voucher-specimen of each new cultivar will be deposited in the herbarium of the Bailey Hortorium, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
I . Crassula 'Jade Necklace'
Crassula marnieriana [Now, Crassula rupestris ssp. marnieriana] is a recently published species reminiscent of C. perforata but with smaller, erect stems and denser leaves. Its small size and congested foliage make it a promising parent for hybridizing, and in 1955 I crossed it with the well-known C. falcata [Now, Crassula perfoliata var. falcata], the goal being a small plant with white leaves and red flowers. The two seedlings obtained possess none of these characters, however, and are not exactly inter-mediate to their parents, unlike most primary hybrids of Crassulaceae; one clone, still unflowered and to be named at a later date, has leaves thickly frosted with the white papillae of C. falcata, but the one introduced here retains only a beading along part of each leaf-margin, the leaves are more similar to those of C. marnieriana, and the flowers are nearly white, becoming slightly pinkish if kept in strong light. Yet C. falcata is decidedly in the ancestry of both seedlings, for their opposite leaves are convolute (mutually overlapping) at the leaf-margin bases, a distinctive character of C. falcata, and the floral morphology is similar. Unfortunately the flowers of C. 'Jade Necklace' are ill-smelling, as in many Crassulas, but the acrid odor nearly disappears at night. Oddly enough, neither parent has malodorous flowers and in some forms of C. falcata they are even pleasantly fragrant. As might be expected, both parents and offspring flower together in early winter.
Crassula 'Jade Necklace' resembles to some extent several species of "Necklace" Crassulas, but differs in its green, denser foliage and more attractive inflorescence. Its jade-green, red-edged leaves and rather large, pink-tinged flowers recommend it as a desirable plant for greenhouse culture and for rockeries in mild-winter areas. Plants will soon be available to nurseries and collectors through the International Succulent Institute.
Crassula 'Jade Necklace’, new cultivar
- Hybridizer: Myron Kimnach, 1955.
- Parents: C. falcata (UCBG 47.546, Rodin 1237 pollen parent) x C. marnieriana (UCBG 50.2090, Stellenbosch 5470). [Crassula perfoliata var. falcata x C. rupestris ssp. marnieriana]
Plant shrubby, erect, later spreading; branches 1.5 cm. thick, up to 20 or more cm. long, the stems 3 to 5 mm. thick, each usually branching dichotomously several times, usually hidden by leaves; leaves perfoliate and half-connate, the non-connate margins convolute, widely ovate-deltoid, slightly cymbiform, 7 mm. long and 15 mm. wide, ca. 5 mm. thick, glabrous, green, dotted darker green, the margin reddish and with a row of white papillae near base; inflorescence appearing in October and November, terminal, cymose, ca. 5 cm. long and 5 by 3 cm. in diameter, the apical surface convex, the lower pairs of bracts ca. 1 cm. apart, ovate, ciliate, the flowers 5 mm. long, the limb 8 mm. wide, the petals white, tinged pinkish, darkest on exterior of bud.
FIG. 7. The original seedling of Crassula 'Jade Necklace' first flowering 33 months after germination. x 0.3
FIG. 8. Left, Crassula falcata (UCBG 47.546): center, C. 'Jade Necklace' ; right, C. rnarnieriana, (UC13G 50.2090). x0.6.