Adromischus cristatus var. clavifolius

Adromischus cristatus var. clavifolius

Scientific Name

Adromischus cristatus var. clavifolius (Haw.) Toelken


Adromischus clavifolius (basionym), Adromischus kesselringianus, Adromischus nussbaumerianus, Adromischus poellnitzianus, Cotyledon clavifolia

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Sedoideae
Tribe: Kalanchoeae
Genus: Adromischus


Adromischus cristatus var. clavifolius is a dwarf succulent plant forming a compact clusters of fat, club-shaped leaves. They are light green to grey-green sometime with darker markings, up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long and up to 0.4 inch (1 cm) wide. The stem is erect up to 2 inches (5 cm) tall with fibrous reddish-brown roots at base. The flowers are on up to 8 inches (20 cm) long stem, grey-green, ovate-triangular, tipped with reddish white.

How to Grow and Care

Many species are easy to grow in any free-draining gritty compost. Their compact habit allows a collection to be maintained in a small space and they grow well on any sunny window ledge or the top shelf of the greenhouse. Water mostly in spring/autumn and let them dry out between waterings. Adromischus tolerate cool, frost-free conditions during the winter if kept dry. It is as well to keep water off the foliage during the winter. Mealy bugs and vine weevils can be discouraged with a systemic insecticide. Frost hardy to 19 °F (-7 °C).

Many species can be propagated from a single leaf, which should be placed against the side of the pot so that the stem end is just touching the compost. Some species drop their leaves easily and although each leaf will form a new plant it can be a challenge to grow a large specimen. In other cases, leaves for propagation must be carefully detached with a sharp knife.. – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Adromischus.


Native to South Africa.


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2018 >>>>

Adromischus cristatus on 1-12-18, #397-1.

It did well on the kitchen windowsill for a while, then the bigger leaves started shriveling and dying. The rest of the leaves started getting smaller, too. It was winter, so I thought it must be going dormant. I gave it a little water because it seemed like it was begging. GEEZ! I thought, “Here we go…” Remember what I said earlier about having issues with succulents with fat, fuzzy leaves during the winter? So, I moved the plant to the plant table in my bedroom with a south-facing window.

Adromischus cristatus on 1-27-18, #407-1.

I am determined this plant IS NOT going to die. I barely give it any moisture, just barely. I sprayed it a few times because the temptation to give it water is crazy. I try not to even look at it. Then one day I noticed something new… HOLY CRAP! It has a baby!

Adromischus cristatus on 1-27-18, #407-2.

Here is this plant, seemingly barely hanging on for dear life, and it sprouts a baby! In this photo, you can also see the brown “aerial” roots that are a common characteristic of this plant.

I also found out that you should avoid getting water on its leaves during the winter. That means NO MORE misting! So, I will just have to see what happens next and hopefully, when spring finally comes this plant will start growing. Maybe it will flower!

Adromischus cristatus (Key Lime Pie) on 5-17-18, #443-3.

When temperatures finally warmed up, I moved the potted plants from the house and basement outside for the summer.

Adromischus cristatus (Key Lime Pie) on 6-28-18, #465-1.

Well, I decided to make a change. Since this plant wasn’t looking all that swift, I decided to take this plant out of the pot…

Adromischus cristatus (Key Lime Pie) on 6-28-18, #465-2.

I removed the offset and then…

Adromischus cristatus (Key Lime Pie) on 6-28-18, #465-3.

Then I mixed fresh potting soil with chicken grit and put the main plant deeper in the mix. Then I put the offset in a pot of its own. Normally I mix 2 parts potting soil with 1 part chicken grit and 1 part perlite. I am experimenting with a new potting soil with sphagnum moss rather than peat which seems to have A LOT of perlite already so I just added grit. Cactus and succulent enthusiasts recommend using pumice in place of perlite but I couldn’t find it locally.

I did buy a bag of pumice online from General Pumice later in the summer of 2018.

When choosing a pot for your crinkle leaf plant, select one with ample drainage holes. An unglazed pot is ideal because it will allow excess moisture to escape through its walls in addition to through the drainage holes. This slow-growing plant won't need repotting often and doesn't mind being a little cramped in its container. Once you see roots growing out of the container and the leaves of the plant are spilling over the sides, then it’s time to move your plant to a slightly larger pot. Gently remove it from the old container, and plant it at the same depth in the new one with fresh potting mix.

Crinkle leaf plants can be propagated from seed, though it's generally easier to propagate via leaf cuttings. Carefully remove a leaf from your crinkle leaf plant, and place it on a tray of soil in bright, indirect light. Within a couple of weeks, you should begin to see small roots growing from the end of the leaf. Don't water the leaf until you see these roots it doesn’t have any other way to absorb the water. Once the roots have appeared, water the roots on the leaf as you would a mature crinkle leaf plant. Eventually, you will begin to see a small plant growing at the base of the leaf near these roots. Leave the leaf attached to the new plant until it eventually dries up and falls off. At that point, the plant will be large enough to plant in its own container.

Adromischus cristatus var. clavifolius - garden

Accepted Scientific Name: Adromischus cristatus var. clavifolius (Haw.) Toelken
Bothalia 12: 385 1978

Origin and Habitat: Adromischus cristatus var. clavifolius is grows in small restricted to scattered populations in South Africa between Alexandria, Grahamstown and East London (Cape Province). South Africa.
Habitat and ecology: It is usually found growing on shallow soil on rock outcrops.

Accepted name in llifle Database:
Adromischus cristatus Lem.
Jard. Fleur. 2: Misc. 60 (1852).
Synonymy: 2

  • Adromischus cristatus Lem.
    • Cotyledon cristata Haw.
Accepted name in llifle Database:
Adromischus cristatus var. clavifolius (Haw.) Toelken
Bothalia 12: 385 1978
Synonymy: 6
  • Adromischus cristatus var. clavifolius (Haw.) Toelken
    • Adromischus clavifolius (Haw.) Lem.
    • Cotyledon clavifolia Haw.
  • Adromischus kesselringianus Poelln.
  • Adromischus nussbaumerianus (Poelln.) Poelln.
  • Adromischus poellnitzianus Werderm.
Accepted name in llifle Database:
Adromischus cristatus var. mzimvubuensis van Jaarsv.
Aloe 40(2): 40 (2003)

Accepted name in llifle Database:
Adromischus cristatus var. schonlandii (E.Phillips) Toelken
Bothalia 12: 390 1978
Synonymy: 3

  • Adromischus cristatus var. schonlandii (E.Phillips) Toelken
    • Adromischus schonlandii (E.Phillips) Poelln.
    • Cotyledon schonlandii E.Phillips
Accepted name in llifle Database:
Adromischus cristatus var. zeyheri (Harv.) Toelken
Bothalia 12 (3): 390 (1978).
Synonymy: 3
  • Adromischus cristatus var. zeyheri (Harv.) Toelken
    • Adromischus zeyheri (Harv.) Poelln.
    • Cotyledon zeyheri Harv.

Description: Adromischus cristatus var. clavifolius is an exquisite dwarf succulent plant forming a compact clusters of fat, club-shaped, silver-green leaves so often called Pretty Pebbles. It is also easily recognized by the short stem wrapped in a thick coat of reddish, tangled, wiry, hairlike aerial roots. It is very variable and has also at times been confused with Adromischus cooperi.
Roots: Fibrous.
Stems: Erect 2-5(-8) cm tall with fibrous reddish-brown roots at base. and glandular hairs on stem.
Leaves: 1,5-5 cm long, 5-10 mm broad, swollen, club-shaped to somewhat reversed-triangular, spatulate or oblong-elliptic, tip truncate or rounded to more or less broadened and crisped, base wedge-shaped to petiolate. Light green to grey-green sometime with darker markings.
Inflorescence: Spike-like thyrse with 1-flowered cyme 10-20 cm high, grey-green.
Flowers: Buds terete. slightly grooved, gradually tapered towards tip, erect at first, later spreading. Flowers 1-1,2 cm, calyx 1,5-3 mm long, grey-green, corolla-lobes 2-1,5 mm wide, ovate-triangular, acute,white tinged pink, with darker margin, spreading or recurved, rough and with club-shaped hairs mainly in throat. Anthers 0,6-0,9 mm long, not protruding from corolla-tube. Squamae about square, 1-1,2 mm long and broad. Pedicels 1-2 mm long.

Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Adromischus cristatus group

  • Adromischus cristatus" href='/Encyclopedia/SUCCULENTS/Family/Crassulaceae/134/Adromischus_cristatus'> Adromischus cristatus Lem. : (var. cristatus) has ridge at tip of leaf constitutes broadest point of leaf. Leaf-blade 1-1,5 times longer than breadth of apical ridge, leaves reversed-triangular. Distribution: Eastern cape.
  • Adromischus cristatus var. clavifolius" href='/Encyclopedia/SUCCULENTS/Family/Crassulaceae/25601/Adromischus_cristatus_var._clavifolius'> Adromischus cristatus var. clavifolius (Haw.) Toelken : has leaves 2-5 times longer than breadth of apical ridge, reversed-triangular to club-shaped, hairless nearly so. Distribution: Alexandria, Grahamstown and East London (Cape Province).
  • Adromischus cristatus var. mzimvubuensis van Jaarsv. : has felted leaves covered with fine glandular hairs. Distribution: Mzimvubu River, Eastern Cape.
  • Adromischus cristatus var. schonlandii" href='/Encyclopedia/SUCCULENTS/Family/Crassulaceae/25607/Adromischus_cristatus_var._schonlandii'> Adromischus cristatus var. schonlandii (E.Phillips) Toelken : has stems 2-4 cm long, covered with aerial roots. Ridge at tip of leaves narrower than broadest point on leaf, inflorescence with glandular hairs.
  • Adromischus cristatus var. zeyheri" href='/Encyclopedia/SUCCULENTS/Family/Crassulaceae/136/Adromischus_cristatus_var._zeyheri'> Adromischus cristatus var. zeyheri (Harv.) Toelken : has stems 4-8 cm long, without aerial roots, covered with glandular hairs. Distribution: Baviaanskloof , Eastern Cape.

Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) James Cullen, Sabina G. Knees, H. Suzanne Cubey “The European Garden Flora Flowering Plants: A Manual for the Identification of Plants Cultivated in Europe, Both Out-of-Doors and Under Glass” Cambridge University Press, 11/ago/2011
2) J.P. Roux “Flora of South Africa“ 2003
3) Ben P. Barkhuizen “Succulents of Southern Africa: With Specific Reference to the Succulent Families Found in the Republic of South Africa and South West Africa” Purnell, 1978
4) Domitilla Raimondo “Red list of South African plants 2009” South African National Biodiversity Institute, 2009
5) Ernst Van Jaarsveld, Ben-Erik Van Wyk, Gideon Smith “Succulents of South Africa: A Guide to the Regional Diversity” Tafelberg Publishers, Limited, 01/lug/2000
6) Wilhelm von Roeder “Sukkulenten ein Führer für Liebhaber und Sammler durch das Reich der Fettpflanzen” Stuttgart, Franckh 1931
7) Hermann Jacobsen “A Handbook of Succulent Plants: Abromeitiella to Euphorbia” Blandford Press, 1960
8) Werner Rauh “Die großartige Welt der Sukkulenten : Anzucht und Kultur sukkulenter Pflanzen mit Ausnahme der Kakteen” Hamburg Berlin: P. Parey, cop. 1967
9) Claude Chidamian “The book of cacti: and other succulents” American Garden Guild, 1958

Adromischus clavifolius (Adromischus cristatus var. clavifolius) Photo by: Julio C. García

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Cultivation and Propagation: Adromischus cristatus is a fairly easy succulent to grow and one of the easier Adromischus speciest.
Growth rate: Adromischus cristatus is a popular, fast growing species.
Soil: It prefer well-drained soil.
Repotting: Repot every other years. All species of this genus are happy in small pots.
Exposure: It grows best in a partially shaded position. It got sunburned if exposed to midday sun.
Hardiness: Require a minimum temperature 5°C (But hardy down to -7°C for short periods), with good drainage and dryness in winter to resist the cold.
Watering: It takes more water than cacti, but let the soil dry between soaking, in the wild, it receives rain mostly in spring and fall. Must have very dry atmosphere. Water less in winter but do not allow it to shrivel.
Pest & disease: It is vulnerable to mealybugs and rarely scale. It is prone to rotting from the tuberous base or from dried inflorescences. It is also very attractive to aphids. .
Maintenance: As the plant matures, the centre becomes bare. When it does, restart it from side cuttings and throw away the central part.
Propagation: Usually propagate from single leaves (leaf cuttings) or stem cuttings seed propagation is rarely used. Leaves easily root and produce new plants. Twist off a leaf and permit it to dry out a couple of days, lay it on the soil and insert the stem end partially into the soil. The original leaf should not be removed until it has dried up. Try to keep the leaf somewhat upright so that the roots are able to grow downward. If grown in a container, bottom watering by immersing the container is recommended.

Watch the video: Suculentas Adromischus