Succulent plants truly deserve respect for their resilience and true bravery, with which they counteract the climatic turmoil without losing their charm and mysteriousness. Probably, this is why they have so many admirers, who collect numerous collections and create miniature garden compositions literally on the window sill of these amazing exotic plants.
Succulents are called a vast group of plants belonging to different families and having a common property: in their structure they have special fabrics for water reserve. This is how they adapt to growing in dry conditions. Some of these tissues are found in the stems, others in the leaves, and therefore divide them into stem and leaf succulents. Representatives of these groups are found even in such families as grape – cissus tetragonal, bromeliac – dicchia and aroids – known to all zamiocculcas or dollar tree.
The main genera of succulents for indoor growing
In the interior of living rooms and office space succulents are very common and used for landscaping, especially popular unpretentious species that do not require much attention to their content. The most popular in room floriculture many:
Echeveria – a genus of perennial succulents with single or slightly branched stems, often very shortened. Leaves are sessile, juicy, of various shapes, smooth or covered with lint, of green or bluish emerald color, collected in thick sockets. Flowers are five-petal, bell-shaped, orange, scarlet, coral, lemon or pink in color.
There are about 150 known species, distributed mainly in Mexico, but some grow in South and Central America, in the southern states of the United States. They are very light-loving plants, but in a room culture, they need to be shaded. In summer, some species grow well planted in stony gardens and flower beds.
Eyeglass, or Sedum, is a genus of perennial succulents; less often it is a two-year-old or annual. There are almost 500 species known in the nature living in tropical and subtropical latitudes of the Mediterranean, Europe, East and West Asia, in the southwest of North America, Mexico, South America, Central Africa and Madagascar. A separate group consists of purification of temperate latitudes, which are grown as garden succulents.
The stems of the purifiers are fleshy, straight, hanging or creeping. These succulents often form thick turfs or are grown as ampels. Leaf records are juicy, different in shape and color. Small bells of yellow, pink, white, less often blue are collected in thyroid or umbrella inflorescence.
Ceropegia – a genus of 217 species of climbing or straight perennials with succulent stems or leaves. They inhabit the Asian and African tropics. Some form tubers or spindle-like rhizomes.
Flowers have a very unusual shape – similar to candelabra, which is translated from the ancient Greek botanical name of the genus. They are collected in brushes or umbrella inflorescences. The corollas are tubular and five-petal.
Pachypodium – thick-barrelled trees and shrubs that create a significant moisture reserve during drought. They look different, and their sizes range from bottle-like dwarf babies to shrubs with bottle-shaped pagons and cactus trees.
Around the trunks, many kinds of rings have spikes. The branching of the pahypodiums depends on the growth environment. Most species come from South Africa and Madagascar, but they spread in nature throughout the continent. Grow on any soil, they are often seen in the clefts of rocks and hills. Only 23 species are known in the genus.
Haworthia – a genus of almost 100 species of small perennials, growing in the form of rosettes spread over the ground or plants with a small impersonal trunk about 20-25 cm high. With age, they form dense turf curtains. The homeland of the Havorites is South-East and South Africa, but the area is limited. Succulents are found on poor sandy and stony soils, they are difficult to notice in thickets of grass and bushes, and also because most of the rosette is often buried in the ground, and on the surface of the soil stick out only the tops of leaves.
Leaf blades can be ovoid or elongate-triangular, painted dark, light, and grey-green. Their surface is often covered with white or dark emerald outgrowths. Blossoms are simple or branched, much larger in size than a rosette of leaves. Flowers are not too decorative, have a tubular shape and whitish coloring.
Aichryson – a genus of 18 species of branched annual and perennial succulents, living in natural conditions in the Azores, Canary Islands and Madeira, as well as in Morocco and the only species – in Portugal.
The plant has unwoody pagons densely covered with small dark emerald leaves of rounded egg-shaped shape. After mechanical damage, the leaf plates spread an unpleasant smell.
Small star-shaped flowers are grouped in numerous inflorescences of yellow, cream or coral tones. After fading flower rosette, forming them, dies.
Hoya – Succulent lianas or perennials with creeping or hanging stems and leathery glossy dark emerald leaves. Red, pinkish, cream, bright yellow flowers have a complex structure and are fascinatingly beautiful, collected in sinus flowers. About 100 species are distributed in India, China, the islands of the Malay Archipelago and northeast Australia. Very popular in vertical landscaping of interiors.
Lithops – exotic succulents, known as “living stones”, are combined into a genus of about 40 species and more than 90 different forms. They are found in the southern and southwestern provinces of Africa and grow among stones in deserts and semi-deserts.
They are considered to be highly succulent because they consist of a pair of very juicy, half-fused leaves. Their surface is smooth and can be flat or convex from above. Flowers are delicate and beautiful, yellow or white colored, appear from a crack between the leaves-halves of the “stone”.
Fat, or Crassula – perennial, two-year-old succulent plants, less often – annuals. Among flower growers are also known under the name “money tree”. There are about 300 species in the genus, most originating from the southern provinces of Africa or Madagascar. Some species are native to the humid valleys of South and West Australia, as well as the islands of Tasmania. They grow in the form of branched trees.
Leaves are fleshy, located on the branches in turn, very rarely collected in dense sockets. Flowers are miniature, pentapetal, red, pink, white, grouped in inflorescences, but some species are single.
Kalanchoe – in the genus of almost 120 species of perennial or two-year-old succulents, very rarely – perennials living on rocky plateaus, spurs of ridges or near rivers, some – in humid tropical forests on tree trunks or in cracks in the bark. The area of distribution covers subtropical and tropical Africa, Madagascar, Sokotra, Cyprus, Indochina, Malay Archipelago, the American tropics.
Stems of most representatives of the genus are juicy, straight, sometimes lying or curly, with age. The leaves are fleshy, on petioles or sitting, with a smooth surface, evenly pubescent or covered with wax. Some types of kalanhoe is characterized by the property of viviparia – the formation of children along the edge of the leaf plate, along the central vein or on the pedicel.
Flowers are four-petal, painted white, pink, orange, lemon, coral tint. Corollas drooping or vertically directed, are collected in cystic, umbrella or shield-shaped inflorescences.
Aloe (Aloe) – a genus of almost 350 species, home to the south-eastern, southern and southwestern provinces of Africa, as well as the island of Madagascar. Among Aloe you can find large trees from 15 to 20 m high, and rosette plants about 3-4 m with huge leaves, and branched shrubs with vertical or crawling pagons, as well as herbaceous perennials, which over time grow into dense turf. Among the latter are many room inhabitants of temperate latitudes, including popular medicinal species.
Leaves of aloe lanceolate or elongate-triangular shape, on the stem are spiral, more often collected in a socket, painted in a dark emerald or bluish-green tint. On the surface of the leaf plates of many species stretched oblong stripes or light oval spots. Blossoms appear from the leaf sinuses, single or 2-3. Flowers on long legs, some species – bell-shaped, painted scarlet, orange, pinkish, yellow, very rarely – white.
Zamioculcas – a genus represented by only one species originating from Africa, but incredibly popular because of its folk name – “dollar tree”. It is a herbaceous succulent with a tuber-shaped root and intricately permeable leaves with a fleshy central petiole bloated at its base. Leaf slices are glossy, dark emerald, and may fall off in the dry season. Flowers are collected in a discreet cob, miniature, yellowish, not of decorative value.
Stapelia are herbaceous perennials with fleshy tetrahedral pagons, branching at the base. The edges of stems are covered with teeth, sometimes downy or smooth, greenish color or have a burgundy red tint. Leaves are small, scaly, blossoming, soon fly over.
Flowers are formed at the base of young branched stems, widely open, five-petal. The corollas are painted in a scarlet brown or yellow color, but they are often motley. They have a very unpleasant odor to attract pollinite fly.
There are more than 100 species from Southern, Eastern and South-Western Africa, which prefer to grow on rocky mountain slopes in the shadow of small shrubs and trees.
Molochai (Euphorbia) is a very numerous genus, known to be about 2000 species, but only about 400 of them are included in the group of succulents. They grow in the form of trees almost 20 m high, and in the form of medium and small sizes of shrubs. Succulent dairy in nature inhabits semi-deserts and savannahs of South and South-West Africa, the Canary Islands and Madagascar.
Most of them are stem succulents and their appearance is very similar to that of cactuses. Some species have cylindrical stems, and leaves grow only on young shoots and soon fall off. Leaf records in many species are common, not succulent. Flowers of different colors form a complex inflorescence – centium, surrounded by a bright bract.
Molodilo (Sempervivum) – in Spartan-style hardy succulents, able to withstand the exhausting heat and frosty snowless winter. Homeland of most of the 40 species are mountainous areas of Central and Southern Europe, Asia Minor and the Caucasus.
Appearance of plants – compact spherical rosettes of leaves with a circumference of 0.5 to 22 cm. Leaf blades are fleshy and very juicy. Flowers are purple, pink or lemon yellow, form on the top of a pedicel of pedicel, towering above the rosette at a height of 3 to 50 cm, thyroid inflorescences or lush brushes.
Sansevieria – popularly known as “mother-in-law’s tongue” or “piketail. There are almost 70 species of stemless succulents, common in South Florida, Indonesia, Madagascar, tropical and subtropical Africa and India.
The plant has powerful rhizomes, from them grow vertically strong linear leaves, whole-edged, with a very sharpened tip. The coloring of leaf plates is dark green, sometimes they are bordered by a yellow or silver edging, and there is often a pattern of cross-drawings all over the surface.
Blossoming at night, many species of small starry flowers on a long pedicel produce a strong aroma of cloves or vanilla. An unfortunate feature of the plant – after flowering rosette no longer forms a new leaf.
Bacarnea, or Nolina (Beaucarnea, or Nolina) – among flower growers are common folk names of stem succulents native to Mexico and the southern states of the United States – “bottle palm”, “horse’s tail”, “elephant’s leg.
Most of the 29 species have a thickening at the bottom of the trunk, designed to accumulate moisture in case of dry days. The top of the trunk is crowned with a lush tuft of narrow linear leaves flowing down a bright emerald fountain.
Gasteria – in translation from the Latin name of the plant means – “bubbly vessel” and thus emphasizes the appearance of the corolla of succulents originating from South Africa. Totally there are up to 70 species, which are rosette specimens with 2-4 or 10-12 leaves.
The surface of the leaf plates is glossy, dark emerald, sometimes covered with light divorce or warts. Blossoms rise high above the rosette, on the top of the top branch and form a loose brush of pink, bloated at the base, tubular flowers.
Aeonium – perennial succulents, endemics of Madeira and the Canary Islands, among which there are about 40 varieties with single or slightly branched stems, with age rustic. Leaf records have different sizes and shapes, can be velvety or smooth, and many species have ciliated edges.
During flowering, the aeoniums open mainly yellow corollas, but sometimes there are also purple red, light raspberry and white. Flowers are small, collected in brushes. Some species die off after fading inflorescences.
Agave is a perennial plant about 30-50 cm high with a very short, woody stem, but some species form stems growing up to 1-4 m high. There are about 300 species known throughout the American continent, as well as the Caribbean islands, India and the Mediterranean countries.
Leaves are fleshy, glossy, collected in the root outlets, whose circumference depends on the species and varies from 3-4 cm to 4.5 m. The number of leaf plates in the socket also varies – from 20-50 to 200 pieces. Many species grow strong spikes at the edges of leaves.
Most agaves are monocarpicals that flower once in their lives, some – 5-15 years after planting seeds, others – 50 or even 100 years. Some plants have a flower carrier that rises above the soil by 8-10 m. On it, in addition to yellowish or salad flowers, formed also bulbinella – tiny daughter plants.
Synadenium (Synadenium) – a bright representative of the dairy plants with a thickened succulent stem and ovoid multicore leaves, placed one by one. Blossoms are small purple-red flowers, formed on branched pedicels. Proceeds from Eastern and Southern Africa. There are about 20 species of small evergreen shrubs and small trees.
Adenium – a genus of colorful succulents with unusual thickening at the base of the trunk – caudexes. Includes up to 5-10 plant species originating from the island of Socotra, the Arabian Peninsula and arid regions of the African continent. The folk names are extremely lyrical – “desert rose”, “false azaleia”, “wrong baobab”.
Stems are strongly branched, covered with shiny lanceolate leaves with a sharpened or rounded top. Incredible decorative effect is represented by simple or terry adenium flowers – bright scarlet, crimson, soft pink, yellow, white.
Cotyledon (Cotyledon) – succulents-multiplets originated from Southern and South-Western Africa, Ethiopia, the Arabian Peninsula. Stems are straight or drooping, often ramified. Leaf records are fleshy, have a long petiole or sessile, the shape is diverse, to the touch smooth or slightly rough because of short soft lint.
Flowers are bell-shaped, five-petal, painted in different shades of yellow, orange and red. Form a inflorescence on a long, often up to 50 cm, apex pedicel. In total, there are about 35 species, but in room floriculture grow no more than 5-6.
The world of indoor succulents is extremely diverse and includes a variety of plants, both in size and appearance. True amateurs can choose both a completely miniature crumb 3-4 cm high, and a two-meter high giant – a real giant for housing conditions. The main attraction of succulent plants is their exotic appearance and easy care for flower growers.