The habitat of Curio radicans, or kraaltjies (little beads) in Afrikaans, is karoid veld and semi-desert from Namibia across the Karoo and Little Karoo to the Eastern Cape. The string of beads analogy is very apt for these leaves that are far more attractive than the flowers.
The plant responds to rain, surviving through dry seasons on its ample succulence and the shade of taller plants. It is grazed by game and livestock. Another of its colloquial names in Afrikaans, bokkos, means goat food or antelope food; the word bok meaning either animal (Shearing and Van Heerden, 2008).