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Mossy Stonecrop

Crassula tillaea

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Crassulaceae (Stonecrop)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
5 centimetres tall
Fields, gardens, rocky places, walls, wasteland.

White, 3 petals
Flowers are stalkless and 1 to 2mm in diameter. They are borne inside the leaf axils. Usually 3 petals but occasionally 4 (same goes for the number of stamens).
The fruit is a follicle. Many-seeded.
A very small prostrate flower, rarely exceeding 5cm (2 inches) in height. The compact, plump, succulent leaves are oblong and frequently tinged red. Leaves are usually shorter than 2mm in length and in opposite pairs along the stems. Annual. Often growing on bare or gravelly ground.
Other Names:
Fairy Crassula, Moss Pygmyweed, Mossy Pygmyweed.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Crassula tillaea, also known as fairy crassula, is a small succulent plant in the genus Crassula. It is native to South Africa and has small, fleshy leaves that are arranged in a tightly-packed rosette. The leaves are typically a pale green color, but can take on a reddish tint when exposed to full sun. The plant produces small, white or pink flowers in the summer. It is easy to grow and care for, and can be grown in a container or in rock gardens. It is hardy in USDA zones 9-11.


Mossy Stonecrop, scientifically known as Crassula tillaea, is a small, low-growing succulent plant that is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It is a member of the Crassulaceae family and is commonly referred to as "Mossy Crassula" or "Mossy Stonecrop."

Appearance and Habitat

Mossy Stonecrop is a tiny, mat-forming succulent that typically grows to be no more than 2-3cm in height. The leaves are tiny and green, arranged in a dense rosette that grows close to the ground. The plant gets its name from the fact that the leaves are covered in a velvety fuzz, which gives them a mossy appearance. The leaves are round or oblong in shape, and the edges can be smooth or slightly toothed.

Mossy Stonecrop is typically found growing in rocky or gravelly soils, and it can be found in a variety of habitats, including meadows, grasslands, and rocky outcrops. It is often found growing in areas that are exposed to full sun and are relatively dry, but it can also tolerate some shade and moisture.

Cultivation and Care

Mossy Stonecrop is a relatively easy plant to grow and care for, making it an excellent choice for both indoor and outdoor gardens. It prefers well-draining soils that are rich in organic matter, and it can be grown in full sun to partial shade.

When it comes to watering, Mossy Stonecrop prefers to be kept on the dry side. It can tolerate periods of drought and does not like to be overwatered. When watering, it's best to water deeply and then allow the soil to dry out before watering again.


Mossy Stonecrop can be propagated from stem cuttings or by division. To propagate from stem cuttings, simply take a cutting from the parent plant and allow it to callus over for a few days. Then, place the cutting in well-draining soil, and keep the soil moist but not too wet. The cutting should root within a few weeks.

To propagate by division, gently remove the plant from its pot or garden bed and carefully separate the rosettes. Each rosette should have its own set of roots. Plant each rosette in its own pot or garden bed, and water thoroughly.

Mossy Stonecrop is a charming little plant that is easy to grow and care for. Its velvety leaves and low-growing habit make it an excellent choice for rock gardens, container gardens, and as a ground cover. With proper care, Mossy Stonecrop can be a delightful addition to any garden.

Uses and Benefits

Mossy Stonecrop has been used for medicinal purposes in some cultures. In traditional medicine, it has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including stomach ulcers, coughs, and skin conditions. Some studies have suggested that Mossy Stonecrop may have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, although further research is needed to confirm these findings.

Apart from its potential medicinal uses, Mossy Stonecrop is an excellent plant for landscaping and beautifying outdoor spaces. It can be used to cover bare ground and control erosion, and it can be an excellent addition to rock gardens, mixed borders, and container gardens. It also attracts pollinators such as bees and butterflies, which can be beneficial for other plants in the garden.

Another benefit of Mossy Stonecrop is that it is relatively low-maintenance. It is a hardy plant that can tolerate dry conditions, making it an ideal choice for gardeners who want to conserve water or who live in areas with hot and dry climates. It is also resistant to pests and diseases, which means that it does not require a lot of attention or chemical treatments to keep it healthy.

Cultural Significance

Mossy Stonecrop has been a popular plant in European folklore and mythology. In some cultures, it was believed to have magical properties, and it was used in spells and potions to bring good luck, protect against evil spirits, and promote fertility. In some traditions, Mossy Stonecrop was also associated with love and romance, and it was used in love charms and potions.

Today, Mossy Stonecrop is still widely used in European gardens and is appreciated for its beauty and hardiness. It is a symbol of resilience, as it can thrive in harsh conditions and still produce beautiful, velvety leaves. It is also a reminder of the importance of conservation, as it is often found in areas that are threatened by habitat loss and climate change.

Mossy Stonecrop is a fascinating and versatile plant that has many uses and benefits. Whether you are interested in its potential medicinal properties, its landscaping potential, or its cultural significance, it is a plant that is well worth learning more about and incorporating into your garden.

Conservation Status

While Mossy Stonecrop is not currently listed as a threatened or endangered species, it is considered to be a plant of conservation concern in some regions. In the UK, for example, it is listed as a priority species for conservation, and efforts are being made to protect and conserve its habitat.

One of the main threats to Mossy Stonecrop is habitat loss and fragmentation. As human development and land use practices continue to encroach on natural areas, Mossy Stonecrop and other native plants may lose their homes and become more vulnerable to extinction. Climate change is also a concern, as it may affect the availability of suitable habitats and alter the conditions under which Mossy Stonecrop can survive.

To help protect Mossy Stonecrop and other native plants, it is important to support conservation efforts, such as habitat restoration and preservation, and to be mindful of our own impacts on the environment. Gardeners can also help by incorporating native plants like Mossy Stonecrop into their landscapes and avoiding the use of chemicals and practices that may harm wildlife and the environment.


Mossy Stonecrop is a charming and resilient plant that has many uses and benefits. It is a popular choice for gardens and landscaping, and it has potential medicinal properties that may be of interest to some. As a symbol of resilience and conservation, it reminds us of the importance of protecting and preserving our natural habitats and the species that call them home. By appreciating and caring for plants like Mossy Stonecrop, we can help to promote a healthier and more sustainable planet for all.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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