Succulents are plants with fleshy, thick tissues adapted to water storage.
The word “succulent” comes from the Latin word sucus, meaning juice, or sap.
There are over 60 different succulent families and about 10,000 plant variants that differ in color, texture, and size.
Other than Antarctica, succulents can be found within each continent. But most succulents come from Africa and South and Central America.
Succulents have the ability to thrive on limited water sources, such as mist and dew, which makes them equipped to survive in an ecosystem which contains scarce water sources.
They are found in nearly all types of habitat, but most often in arid or semi-arid parts of the world.
Some succulents (e.g., cacti) store water only in the stem and have no leaves or very small leaves, whereas others (e.g., agaves) store water mainly in the leaves.
Stomata are small mouthlike structures on the surface of plant leaves and stems that allow for the uptake of carbon dioxide from the environment and the loss of water and oxygen to the environment. In succulent plants the stomata behave opposite what is normal; that is, they are closed during the day and open at night. As a result, the loss of water (transpiration) during the hot, dry daytime hours is minimized.
Most succulents have deep or broad root systems.
The lifespan depend on the type of succulent. Some succulents can live for decades (or even more), while others live up to 6 years.
Most miniature succulents are baby plants or cuttings which haven’t achieved their full size. They can become huge. Some of them get big by making sprouting copies of themselves, which are sometimes called pups. Each one can be removed and planted elsewhere, where it will eventually develop its own offshoots. They also reproduce with flowers, pollen, and seeds.
Succulents are often grown as ornamental plants because of their striking and unusual appearance.
They are favored as houseplants for their attractiveness and ease of care. If properly potted, succulents require little maintenance to survive indoors. Succulents are very adaptable houseplants and will thrive in a range of indoor conditions. For most plant owners, over-watering and associated infections are the main cause of death in succulents.
Succulents symbolize enduring and timeless love for they are tenacious plants that store water in their thick leaves and stems.
A cactus is a succulent plant of the family Cactaceae.
The genera Aloe (Xanthorrhoeaceae) and Euphorbia (Euphorbiaceae) are two iconic succulent plant groups, each comprising hundreds of succulent species. Both genera are used in folk medicine and commercial therapeutic products.
Echeveria is maby the most common and popular succulent; and for good reason. You can easily find these succulents in a number of different colors and sizes, but they will all have the gorgeous spiral of rosettes that are so characteristic.