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Echeveria setosa var. deminuta
(Syn: Echeveria rundelli)


Echeveria setosa var. deminuta
This plant has been in cultivation for some time as “E. rundelii”, or  “E. tundelii”, popular also as "Firecracker Plant” it quickly attract the attention of visitors. When a mature clump of perhaps a dozen or more rosettes has formed, the sight of it in bloom easily elicits thoughts of fireworks.

Description (standard form):  E. setosa is a very distinct echeveria, with a remarkable pubescence. It is a very variable slowly clustering rosette succulent freely giving off offsets from the base and readily forming dense mounds. Many variety and cultivars - often quite different at a first glance - are nowadays available in cultivation.
Stem: Almost stemless.
Rosettes: Globose to flattish which stand out very distinctly. About 5-20 cm, in diameter depending on variety. Leaves numerous, sometimes 100 or more. Because of the density of the hairs the centre of the rosette is often white, which gives a wonderful contrast to the outer margins of the rosettes.
Leaves: Small, densely packed spatulate-shaped, convex on both sides, narrow, glaucous or dark-green that in the winter assumes a green-red colouring , almost glabrous to very furry with stiff, glistening hairs, depending on the variety. The most common forms in cultivation have a complete covering of shining, glassy white, soft fuzz.
Propagation: Occasional offset, seeds
Flowers: The flowers are the most distinctive and recognisable feature of this species , they are displayed in erect, arched helicoid cymes from each rosette that reach from about 15 cm to 20 cm tall, each with about 6 to 9 florets. In larger groups of rosettes, often of the inflorescences are branched. The flowers are red and yellow simple or 2 branched second cincinni. The corolla campanulate or ovoid urceolate, prominently pentagonal.
Blooming season: Spring and early summer.

Recognized subspecies, varieties and forms:

  • E. setosa var. deminuta: (a.k.a.  in cultivation for some time as “E. rundelii”, or, “E. tundelii”) It has tiny, blue, clubshaped
    leaves with a tuft of bristles at the ends, the rosettes are no bigger than about 3 cm. It form dense many headed clusters.
  • E. setosa var. ciliata (a.k.a.  E. ciliata) It is a broader leaved plant, with somewhat fewer bristles at the edges of the green leaves;
  • E. setosa var. minor: It is a plant that combine the best of the two previous forms, the leaves are covered with fine bristles, it form a a pale blue flattish rosette about 8 cm wide.


Easy to grow and perfect for pots, it  forms dense cushions of  neat, mediterranean-blue rosettes.

It has sky-blue, club-shaped leaves with a tuft of bristles at the ends, the rosettes no bigger than about 3 cm, forming dense clusters.

Family: Crassulaceae  

Scientific name:  Echeveria setosa var. deminuta Meyrán 1989

Common English Names include: Mexican Firecracker, Hens and Chicks.

Origin:  Southern Mexico, mountains of Oaxaca and Puebla.

Etymology: The genus Echeveria is named after the 18th century Spanish botanist Atanasio Echeverria Codoy.
The species name “setosa” comes from Latin “seta” = “silk” refering to the leaves that are covered by glistening silky hairs.


  • Echeveria Ciliata Moran
    in: Repr. Cactus & Succ. Jour. 33: 131-140. 1961.A
  • Echeveria setosa var. ciliata (Moran) Moran 1993
  • Echeveria setosa var. minor Moran 1993
  • Echeveria setosa var. oteroi Moran 1993
  • Echeveria setosa var. setosa Rose & Purpus(1910
  • Echeveria setosa var. deminuita "rundelii"
  • Echeveria "rundelii"

Notes: It has long been around in collections, and has widely been used because of its dense, fuzzy covering of short, white hairs, to produce several hybrids. The cross E. harmsii x E. setosa, for example, produced Echeveria 'Set-Oliver', popular in Britain. Other crosses elsewhere resulted in Echeveria 'Herzblut' in Germany and Echeveria 'Doris Taylor' in California, to name but a few. Crested clones are also known and highly valued by many collectors.



Cultivation: Echeveria are easily grown succulents that can tolerate sun, shade, moist soils, dry soils, but look their best only when given adequate light levels and water, and ideally should be grown outdoors in full sun. Generally speaking, the more light a plant gets the better it will display its colours and shape. Bright light is required to prevent "stretching" of Echeverias ("stretching" occurs when a moderately fast growing plant such as an Echeveria, is grown in dim light or over-fertilized, which causes overly lush growth that contributes to weak, pallid plants). However, when moving plants from lower light conditions into full sun, be wary of sun scorch resulting from too rapid a transition into intense summer sunlight, most easily avoided by ensuring plants are well-watered before moving them on a cloudy day. Echeveria are able to tolerate extended dry periods and survive drought without the need for watering, but they will grow stronger if they receive adequate moisture during their growing season, but never allowing the plant to remain waterlogged (root rot sensitive). For this reason, it is essential in cultivation to use a very porous soil, which will allow quick drainage. Avoid overhead watering under humid conditions, especially during winter. Echeveria are shallow rooted plants, and therefore benefit from good levels of organic matter in the soil. Give it enough root space for optimum growth. Slow release fertilisers with a low to moderate nitrogen content incorporated into the potting mix are usually adequate for the spring and summer growing seasons of Echeveria, and additional fertiliser applications would not normally be required until spring. Good air movement is important for minimising pest and disease risks, and avoiding excessive humidity in cool winter conditions is important to successfully growing Echeveria in the nursery environment. Can tolerate light frosts. however, the ideal temperature range during the summer growing season is 5-25°C, with the cooler autumn temperatures tending to make their foliage colours become more intense than those of the active summer growing season. Aphids like this plant (and all flowering Echeverias).

Propagation: It is easily propagated by cuttings in the spring. When the stem becomes too tall, just cut the top rosette with a piece of stem and plant it. It will soon take root, while the plant left with just the stem will soon grow new buds that can be in turn used for propagation. Time to take cuttings: April to July. It may also propagated by leaf propagation. If the plant is repotted some of the bottom leaves can be removed, in order to attempt propagation..  However some of the cuttings will dry out without producing a plantlet.



Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars of Echeveria setosa.


Photo gallery: Alphabetical listing of Cactus and Succulent pictures published in this site.

Photo gallery ECHEVERIA



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This old page has been moved! Click the link next on the right to enter the new Enciclopedia of Succulents. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.

Encyclopedia of Succulents