Crassula aquatica

Crassula aquatica (L.) Schönlein

Water Pygmyweed

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Protologue: H.G.A.Engler & K.A.E.Prantl, Nat. Pflanzenfam. 3(2): 37 (1891)
Pronunciation: Crás-su-la a-quá-ti-ca
Etymology: L. crassus, thick, referring to the fleshy leaves + aquatic, found in the water

Jepson eFlora Treatment

Jepson eFlora Key to Crassula

SD County Synoptic Voucher

Left: S.D. County Plant Atlas ( Right: CCH2. Click to see current herbarium records.  

Crassula aquatica
Whole plant, and annual herb.

Crassula aquatica
Flower close-up, showing 4-carpellate, apocarpous gynoecium.
There is one flower per node, distinguishing this species from other annual Crassula spp.
Fruits are aggregates of 4 follicles (follicetum). Note open pericarps after dehiscence (right image).

Comparison of Crassula aquatica (left) and Crassula solieri (right), the latter a native plant that can also be found in vernal pools.
Crassula aquatica has fruit units (follicles) that are less reddish and less recurved. Seed surface and sepal length and shape also differs between the two.

All photographs courtesy of Dr. Jon Reman.

Key to the two species, from the Jepson eFlora:
Seeds with ± regular, continuous, longitudinal lines at 20×, ± dull or shiny but not glistening as if wet;
      follicles subtruncate at tip, suture abruptly outcurved in distal 1/4; sepals 0.5–1.5 mm, ovate to oblong ..... C. aquatica
Seeds with irregular, interrupted, longitudinal lines at 20×, shiny, glistening as if wet;
      follicles oblique-acute at tip, suture gradually outcurved in distal 1/2; sepals 0.4–1 mm, deltate-ovate to lanceolate ..... C. solieri

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