One finds Crassula nudicaulis var. nudicaulis, a widespread species, in northern KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State and north of the Vaal River, as well as on the Cape coast and some distance inland, from Clanwilliam to Port Elizabeth. It grows in clay, loam or sandy soils. The available varied rainfall patterns all suffice.
The plant in picture was photographed in habitat not far from Hermanus in coastal sand. This is what it looks like at the end of a dry summer; the leaves show ample orange, pink, yellow or brown, while hardly any green. But the seed production is being achieved, the seasonal energy is consumed, welcome rest is deserved. The wait is on for winter rain and vigorous new green leaves to drive up the next flower stem.
The Afrikaans common name of skraalplakkie holds some descriptive interest. Skraal means lean, which makes sense from the thinly succulent leaf appearance. Plakkie, may be translated as small slab, also referring to the leaf shape. It is a colloquial name for Cotyledon and Crassula leaves, so far defying a satisfactory rendition in English. Local children sometimes pick plakkie leaves to use as toys (Bond and Goldblatt, 1984; Mustart, et al, 1997; Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2010).