Plants may be evergreen or deciduous. Flowers on short stalks (cymes) arise from compact rosettes of succulent fleshy, often brightly coloured leaves. Species are polycarpic, meaning that they may flower and set seed many times over the course of their lifetimes. Often numerous offsets are produced, and are commonly known as "hen and chicks", which can also refer to other genera, such as Sempervivum, that are significantly different from Echeveria.
The genus is named after the 18th century Mexican botanical artist Atanasio Echeverría y Godoy.
Many Echeveria species are popular as ornamental garden plants. They are drought-resistant, although they do better with regular deep watering and fertilizing. Most will tolerate shade and some frost, although hybrids tend to be less tolerant. Most lose their lower leaves in winter; as a result, after a few years, the plants lose their attractive, compact appearance and need to be re-rooted or propagated. In addition, if not removed, the shed leaves may decay, harboring fungus that can then infect the plant.
Cultivars and Hybrids
Echeveria has been extensively bred and hybridised. The following is a selection of available plants.
Formerly in Echeveria
- Dudleya anthonyi (as E. anthonyi)
- Dudleya arizonica Rose (as E. arizonica (Rose) Kearney & Peebles)
- Dudleya attenuata (as E. attenuata and E. edulis var. attenuata)
- Dudleya caespitosa (as E. californica, E. cotyledon, E. helleri, and E. laxa)
- Dudleya candida (as E. candida)
- Dudleya cultrata (as E. cultrata)
- Dudleya cymosa (Lem.) Britton & Rose (as E. cymosa Lem.)
- Dudleya edulis (as E. edulis)
- Dudleya pulverulenta ssp. pulverulenta (as E. argentea and E. pulverulenta)
- Dudleya saxosa ssp. collomiae (as E. collomiae)
- Graptopetalum paraguayense (N.E.Br.) E.Walther (as E. weinbergii hort. ex T.B.Sheph.)
- Pachyveria clavifolia (as E. clavifolia)
Echeveria Secunda var. Glauca in the UBC Botanical Garden
- "Genus: Echeveria DC.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2003-06-13. Retrieved 2011-10-21.
- RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964.
- "Echeveria". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2011-10-21.
- "GRIN Species Records of Echeveria". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2011-10-21.
- "RHS Plant Selector – Echeveria "Perle von Nürnberg"". Retrieved 18 June 2013.
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