Sunny slopes among rocks, common in the hilly country of the Little Karoo, furnish spectacular homes for the tree crassula or Crassula arborescens. In Afrikaans the names beestebul (cattle bull) and beestebal (cattle ball) exist, while in the USA the plant is known as the silver dollar plant.
The more names a plant has, the more impact it has had upon people. The more diverse forms there are, the more features may be noted. Common names, like nicknames may be pejorative. But plants are not sensitive about slander. They do not litigate.
The Little Karoo, an important part of the distribution of this species, receives winter as well as summer rain, forming a transition zone between the Mediterranean climate of the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape summer rainfall area (where another subspecies of the tree crassula also grows).
Whether it receives summer or winter rain, there is often not too much of it in these parts prone to extreme temperatures and recurring drought.
So the squat little succulent trees, bigger than almost all of the other, about 200 Crassula species, are well prepared for eventualities (Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2010; www.plantzafrica.com).