Crassula Ovata

I’ve been working on some plant studies and thought I’d share one of my favourites: Crassula Ovata, otherwise known as Jade.

Jade is a succulent native to South Africa. It has chubby spoon-like leaves that grow opposite to each other on a stem that will eventually turn woody with age. The leaves are a dark green colour with hits of contrasting red on their undersides. The graceful, predictable structure of this plant is what attracts me most.

jade plant crassula ovata

I find it funny how very opposing people’s tastes are when it comes to houseplants.

Here I am raving about Jade when a former Brooklyn Botanical Garden horticulturist by the name of Montague Free can’t stand the species. He writes in his 1946 book, “All About House Plants”:

“Under any name (Jade) leaves me cold, for it is a dreary plant with fat, uninteresting leaves and a stodgy habit of growth. It’s tiny flowers are so seldom produced under house conditions that they cannot be looked on as a redeeming feature.”

My response to him (because this is clearly a debate between me and a now dead horticulturist) is:

“Dear Montague Free, I’m sorry that Jade plants were uninteresting to you simply because they seldom flower. You are right, I should’ve stuck to growing poinsettias all year round, as your reference photos suggest because that’s not at all tacky!”

crassula ovata jade plant drawings

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1 Response to “Crassula Ovata”


  1. 1 brooke July 5, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    Beautiful! I’m a non flower loving horticulturist:)


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My name is Ashley Barron and I'm a Toronto based illustrator. This is my online show & tell of new artwork and anything else I find inspiring. Thanks for taking a look :)

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