When I bought this succulent, I had no inkling about its name/s. I bought it on a whim from Next, along with Sedum pachyphyllum. Later on, I found out that it is commonly called as “jade plant,” also as “money plant.” It has strong oriental roots and has been used by the Chinese in the practice of feng shui in terms of wealth. In the RHS website, it is also labelled as “friendship tree.” I don’t know the story behind this last name. Perhaps it’s related to money: the more money you have, you find the more friends you have.
Crassula ovata is the botanical name of jade plant/ money plant/ friendship tree. As my horticulture teacher has emphasised, this is the beauty of a botanical name versus a common name: a botanical name is unchanging (unless recent genetic findings warrant a change). The botanical name allows us gardeners and plants people to know exactly which plant we are talking about, compared to using common names which may differ from country to country, region to region, locality to locality, and possibly, even garden to garden.
The original plant I bought has succumbed to stem rot, a section of the stem started blackening off and then the leaves turned yellow and fell one by one. Fortunately, I took some leaf cuttings from it one or two months before that happened, emboldened by the success of the Sedum pachyphyllum leaf cuttings.
Today, I have five healthy plantlets of Crassula ovata sitting on my windowsill.