List of Popular Succulent Plants

Of the succulents, outside the Cactus family the larger number belong to the Order Crassulacae, and are well known as roof, wall, greenhouse or small bedding plants.

Cotyledons include now the Echeverias, familiar as the little formal bedding rosettes, with their arched red stems and dropping yellow flowers.

Cotyledon chrysantha, the golden-flowered House-leek Pennywort and Cotyledon simplicifolia with arched stems and yellow flowers and free-running habit, are plants best suited to the rock garden. For the greenhouse C. fulgens in summer, C. glauca and C. retusa in autumn, and C. coccinea right on into October, will light up their scarlet, yellow, and crimson lamps.

Crassula sarcocaulis is another fleshy-stemmed greenhouse plant, with purple flowers. Three-inch cuttings are taken in summer from the tops of shoots that have not flowered.

They are left exposed to the air for a few days, then potted singly in small pots. When, about the end of October, the pots are full of roots, they can stand on the greenhouse shelf for the winter and are given very little water.

In spring, the growths should be stopped 3 or 4 in. away from the pot and a few of the top leaves taken off. New shoots will form. These must be thinned to 2 or 3 according to the strength of the plant. When the shoots are 2 in. long each plant is moved into a larger pot filled with loam and broken brick and set in the greenhouse. At the end of June they should be plunged out of doors in sand in the shelter of the greenhouse, the sand being watered occasionally. Moved to a cold pit on the approach of frost, they will be ready for bedding out in the following May.

If flowers are wanted annually, only one shoot must be allowed to bloom.

Sedum, Stonecrop (Crassulaceae)

The common stonecrop—”sitting on the wall” with its knobby stem and yellow stars, is a very familiar sight in country districts. There are many hardy varieties, and also a few tropical ones, which need greenhouse treatment. Annuals are propagated by seeds, often self-sown, on dry places such as banks and walls; perennials by cutting or divisions, planted in dry, sandy loam mingled with a little brick rubbish.

Greenhouse varieties need a dry life in winter, but are easy to grow.

Sempervivum, House-leek (Crassulaceae), is common on old cottage roofs, and easily recognized by its loose rosettes of greyish leaves and purple flowers. The yellow-flowered S. glaucum tinges the edges of its leaves with purple, but the Cobweb House-leek, S. arachnoidium, sends up red flowers above its “cobweb” covered leaves. (If grown in full shade, the cobwebs do not always develop.)

Their place in a garden is any dry and sandy spot where a little lime can be found, and where other plants would fail for lack of water, such as old wall crevices or the dry upper pockets of a rockery. Greenhouse kinds are propagated by cuttings which are better dried in the air for several days before planting. Use potting soil as for Sedums.

In many other Orders there are odd species which have adopted a succulent habit. Among such, the more notable are:

The American Agave (Amaryllidaceas) with its “shuttlecock” arrangement of thick fleshy leaves from the centre of which springs at infrequent intervals a tall spike of creamy flowers, rising 10 or ft. in the air.

Mesembryanthemum, Ice-plant (Ficoideae) This is a native of South Africa.

M. crystallinum, a half-hardy succulent annual, has leaves and stems covered with glistening grains which give the appearance of a coating of ice. It is a pretty plant for a dry rockery, and sown in the greenhouse in March, it is ready to plant out in June.

Oihonna crassifolia is one of the Composite. It is a pendent-basket plant of the Ragwort type but succulent. The perennial is a greenhouse evergreen, with yellow flowers and thickened leaves. It is propagated by division.

Stapelia cactiformus is an Asclepiad, which has thickened itself to cope with drought, as did the Cactus family. It is grown in greenhouses, but its flowers are of unpleasant odour, so it is not popular.

10. June 2013 by admin
Categories: Cacti and Succulents | Tags: , , | Comments Off on List of Popular Succulent Plants


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