just what are succulents, anyways?!

Succulents, sometimes known as "fat plants", are those plants that are unusual, yet beautiful in appearance.  The word "succulent" is derived from the latin word "succus" meaning juice.  Though the history of succulents is debatable, succulents are most likely native to Europe and the far east.  Luckily, exploration and trading over the last five centuries has enabled these beautiful beings to establish new habitats across the world.   

There are about ten thousand species of succulents.  They can be categorized by stem succulents, leaf succulents or root succulents.  In stem succulents (such as the cactus), the stems are green because they use their stems instead of their leaves to make their food.  Leaf succulents (such as hens & chicks) are those whose leaves become very fat so that they can store extra water.  And root succulents are some of the strangest looking plants of all because they have a big swollen caudex (the very bottom part of the stem where it joins the roots) for which it stores its water.  Because succulents are able to store water, they are able to survive for long periods of time with very little moisture (and in some instances, none at all).  They have adapted to grow in dry areas where they get plentiful rays of sunshine.

Today, succulents are typically grown as ornamental plants because of their unusual appearance.  They make the perfect window-sill and container garden plants.  And because of their incredibly low-maintenance regimen, succulents are indeed ideal for urban living.


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