In spy movies or thrillers, you sometimes see the protagonists pull out a cache of passports and decide who they will be that day. They are maestros of multiple identities, but they have nothing on the Jade Plant. The Jade Plant is in the Crassula genus and has many, many names. On the formal side it can be referred to as Crassula Ovata, Crassula Argentea, Crassula Portulacea, or Crasssula Obliqua. They are all synonyms for the same plant, though the last three are older classifications that have not quite cycled out of usage. Crassula Ovata is the correct form of reference. And then there is Crassula Arborescens, which is very similar to (but not the same as) Crassula Ovata–people mix them up all the time.
If all this weren’t enough, the Jade Plant is also commonly known as a Jade Tree, a Money Tree, a Silver Dollar (or just Dollar) Plant, or a Friendship Plant. The Jade Plant has more aliases than Jason Bourne.
So, it is with some trepidation that I offer you two photos of Crassula Ovata taken during our recent trip to California; I think that’s what they are, but tomorrow I could discover they are something else entirely….