The Crassula bonsai
Succulent plants are succulent plants, originating in Africa, which produce spatula-shaped foliage, slightly fleshy, and thick stems, which, although still herbaceous, take on a brown color, to imitate the stem of woody plants; There are different species and varieties, some of which are cultivated as bonsai, as pot cultivation naturally tends to miniaturize leaves and stems, making the crassula a good choice for a bonsai, also suitable for beginners. In nature these succulent plants sometimes develop to form real small trees, with a thick stem and a well branched crown. In pots there is a tendency to constitute a small bonsai that has these characteristics, encouraging the branching only in the upper part of the stem, so as to form an upside down broom bonsai, with a roundish crown, which widens on the short fleshy stem.
The brown color of the external cuticle of the stems, and the leaves that naturally tend to develop of small dimensions, make the bonsai crassula very elegant, even when the plants are still quite young. If they are in an area with a favorable climate, the crassulae tend to produce small white star-colored flowers at the end of the winter, which make these plants cultivated as bonsai even more elegant.
The species of crassula bonsai
There are many species of crassula, or other succulent plants, which are used to be bred with bonsai; in general it is preferred the crassula arborescens, with light green leaves and dark stems, which often tend to form even more nearby stems, for a beautiful multiple-trunk or false-wood effect. Crassula ovata specimens are also widely used, with beautiful flattened leaves, and also of crassula argentee, which, as the name implies, takes on an almost silvery color. Crassula portulacea bonsai are also widespread, especially in the variety, hobbit, with leaves of particular shape, which make the bonsai decidedly exotic. However, some varieties of portulacaria are also used, which offer the advantage of presenting very dark, almost black stems, with a strong contrast to the light foliage, very minute and often also variegated; the portulacarie, however, often produce erect stems, and little branched, which must be carefully pruned, to obtain the appearance of a small tree.