The common linking characteristic of cacti and succulents is the ability to store water in the leaves or stems enabling them to survive in arid habitats. All cacti are succulents, yet cacti are defined by the presence of areoles (specialised sites where spines form) whereas succulents have none.

The majority of cacti and succulents grow in desert and savannah situations with low moisture, dry air, bright sunshine, good drainage and high temperatures. However there are succulents such as Schlumbergera and Epiphyllum which grow as epiphytes in rainforests. These require semi-shade and humid conditions.

Aeonium:

 

S

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14 thoughts on “S is for Succulents

  1. Serious Sertule! Sacchariferous Salamandroid Salubrous Saponaceous Saxicolous Sciaphobic Siderationproducing Senectitudeable Smaragdine Smectic Symphilismic…
    Sensational!

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    1. They are gorgeous aren’t they? I grew one of the black ones for several years in a pot, had to bring it indoors during the winter of course and last year it died – I managed to root a cutting, which remarkably is still growing, but it’s not the same. I shall have to find another specimen.

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  2. I remember about 4 years ago when I first moved to Orange County, CA, my neighbor asked me if I wanted some succulents. I said sure (not knowing much about them–I’m a Midwestern girl). She literally snapped off some aeonium flowers and said, “Just stick them in the ground and they will grow and multiply.” I did and watched in wonder over the course of the next several months as those original plants kept growing and I kept snapping the new versions off to make more plants! That first group of succulents was a gift that keeps on giving! So cool! I especially love the black/purple ones!

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    1. Oh, you are so lucky! Here they would die if the frost got to them. I’d love to have loads of succulents, they are such interesting plants, and I agree, the purple/black ones are gorgeous.

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