Crassula capitella

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Campfire plant
Crassula capitella - CT 5.jpg
Crassula capitella
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Saxifragales
Family: Crassulaceae
Genus: Crassula
C. capitella
Binomial name
Crassula capitella
Thunb., 1778[1]

Crassula capitella, (Red Flames, Red Pagoda or Campfire Plant) is a perennial succulent plant native to southern Africa.


Flowers of Crassula capitella subsp thyrsiflora, growing in the Robertson Karoo
The "campfire" cultivar
Compact form of Crassula capitella subsp thyrsiflora

An extremely variable species. The narrow, pointed, splayed ("propeller-like"[2]) leaves are initially a light green, but become a strong reddish colour in the sun.[3]

The leaves are stacked, and near the base of the rosette they are larger. Near the top of a rosette, the leaves gradually get smaller and change into floral bracts, as the stem forms a long, pointed inflorescence.[4]

It is a small, succulent herb (15-40 cm in height) - with stems that are either erect or rambling and mat-forming. Each stem forms roots at its internodes, which take root if the stem lies against the ground.

C.capitella is mostly biennial, blooming in the summer, with small, white, star-shaped flowers forming all around each thick, upright stem. [1][5] It grows to a height of about 6 inches tall, and will be damaged when exposed to temperatures below 30 °F (−1 °C).[5]


Crassula capitella prefer full sun to partial shade, average watering needs, and shouldn't be exposed to temperatures below 30 °F (−1 °C).[5][6] It may suffer from foliage edema, which may be the result of rapid changes in moisture.[5]


Crassula capitella is native to southern Africa; it is found in Transvaal, Free State, Eastern Cape, and in some parts of southern Namibia and Botswana.[1]


  • Crassula capitella subsp. capitella: biennial basal rosette with smooth (hairless) stems and unbranched spike inflorescence.[1]
  • Crassula capitella subsp. enantiophylla[1]
  • Crassula capitella subsp. meyeri: a decumbent subspecies from the sandy coastline of KwaZulu-Natal[1]
  • Crassula capitella subsp. nodulosa: a perennial shrub with one or two rosettes on hairy stems.[1]
  • Crassula capitella subsp. sessilicymula: a perennial shrub (40cm) with a woody trunk and branched inflorescence.[1]
  • Crassula capitella subsp. thyrsiflora: a perennial shrub with multiple pinkish-red rosettes, that become stacked in a pagoda form ("red pagoda") and an unbranched spike inflorescence. From the Western Cape Province[1]
  • Crassula capitella subsp. corymbulosa[7].


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Court, Doreen (2000). Succulent Flora of Southern Africa. CRC Press. p. 84. ISBN 9789058093233.
  2. ^ Crassula capitella -
  3. ^ Baldwin, Debra Lee (2010). Succulent Container Gardens. Timber Press. p. 92. ISBN 9780881929591. crassula capitella.
  4. ^ G.Rowley (2003): Crassula: a grower’s guide. Cactus & Co, libri. Italy.
  5. ^ a b c d San Marcos Growers: Crassula capitella Campfire (Campfire Crassula) . accessed 5.7.2013
  6. ^ "PlantFiles: Crassula Crassula capitella 'Campfire'". Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  7. ^ "Crassula capitella subsp. thyrsiflora - Red Pagoda | World of Succulents". World of Succulents. 2014-02-16. Retrieved 2018-02-17.