Talk:Succulent plant

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I don't know how to fix it but the first sentence of this article makes no goddamn sense and is foolish. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:13, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

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allowing the succulents to respire[edit]

What do you mean by: "allowing the succulents to respire." ? --Jclerman 03:12, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

See definition of respiration and of CAM metabolism.--Jclerman 03:24, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

growth forms[edit]

removed the section below (re: growth forms) from the article. I think it needs re-writing as prose and incorporation into the introduction. MidgleyDJ 20:23, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Growth Forms[edit]

The often similar appearance of not closely related succulents is the result of convergent evolution. Similar environmental conditions force the plants to adopt similar growth patterns. Some typical growth forms are:

Leaf cushions: leaf succulents, forming mounds, low stems with dense rosettes of leaves. Examples in the plant families Agaveaceae, Asteraceae, Commelinaceae, Crassulaceae, Portulaceae.

Spherical leaf plants: leaf succulents, small branches with oval to spherical leaves. In extreme cases the plant is reduced to a pair of leaves. Examples in the plant families Aizoaceae, Asphodelaceae, Asteraceae, Crassulaceae.

Window leaf plants: leaf succulents, plants growing almost entirely underground with only the leaf tips projecting from the soil. These leaf ends have transparent windows which allows light to penetrate, and filter through lenses inside the leaf before being used for photosynthesis on the inner side of the leaf surface. Examples in the plant families Aizoaceae, Asphodelaceae, Asteraceae.

Coral-like shrubs: stem succulents, shrubs with bare, green branches, with leaves greatly reduced or missing. Examples in the plant families Apocynaceae, Asteraceae, Cactaceae, Chenopodiaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Didieraceae, Lentibulariaceae, Passifloraceae.

Cactus like: stem succulents, thorny or apparently thorny green spheres or columns, with leaves mostly greatly reduced or absent. Examples in the plant families Apocynaceae, Asteraceae, Cactaceae, Didieraceae, Euphorbiaceae, Geraniaceae, Vitaceae.

Bottle trees: stem succulents, bushes or trees in which the stems are greatly swollen into bottle or tub shapes. Examples in the plant families Agavaceae, Apocynaceae, Asteraceae, Bombaceae, Burseraceae, Cucurbitaceae, Dracaenaceae, Moraceae, Nolinaceae.

Caudex plants: root succulents (geophytes), plants with tubers or disc-like thickened roots partly or wholly underground. The above-ground growth is annual, thin and often twining. Examples in the plant families Apocynaceae, Basellaceae, Bombaceae, Convolvulaceae, Cucurbitaceae, Dioscoreaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Gesneriaceae, Hyacinthaceae, Piperaceae.

Succulents can attain very different sizes. The scale runs from 3 mm, the small balls of Conophytums (Aizoaceae) to 30 m tall trees as in Euphorbia (Euphorbiaceae).


I don't think xerophilic is a word, and if it was, I think it would describe an organism rather than a climate (also, the word would be xerophilous). I think xeric is the correct word. Are there any objections to this? --TedPavlic 16:28, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Fat Plants[edit]

"fat plant" is not a synonym for succulent; it's a subgroup or, some would say, an overlapping category taking in some non-succulents (according to some definitions) like Adansonia and Hydnophytum. Succulents like sempervivum are not fat plants. See —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wikilowy (talkcontribs) 03:42, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Geophytes and succulents[edit]

The following pair of sentences in the lead is rather awkward: “They [geophytes] can be regarded as succulents. Some plants are succulent geophytes.” If geophytes are regarded as succulents, then all geophytes are succulent geophytes! This should be rephrased... David Olivier (talk) 09:49, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

The Opposite of a Succulent is?...[edit]

This article does not do a very good job of getting across the difference between a succulent and any other plant. Grass contains water, yet is not a succulent. If anyone knows what a non-succulent is, please feel free to add a short description in the lead. Rip-Saw (talk) 22:03, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

I agree with your criticism that the article doesn't do a very good job. (I've been working on Cactus, but have on my "to-do" list to look at this article.) However, part of the problem is that "succulent" is a vague term. There's a continuous spectrum between "normal plants" and "succulents" in which the stems and leaves steadily become more adapted to store water. (Contrary to the article, geophytes – plants with bulbs, corms, etc. – are not normally called "succulents".)
"Leaf succulents" = plants whose leaves are noticeably thickened, storing water, enabling the plant to survive some significant degree of drought without wilting.
"Stem succulents" – substitute "stem" for "leaf".
"Root succulents" – most would be omitted from books on succulents and treated as "bulbous" (geophytes), although something like a carrot could be called a root succulent, perhaps.
"Succulents" usually means "leaf succulents + stem succulents" (remembering that some plants have both succulent leaves and stems).
The article needs to say all this, but the above came out of my head, and to add to the article I need to source it all. Peter coxhead (talk) 08:06, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

Opuntia in Africa[edit]

Someone put on wikipedia that Opuntia cacti managed to establish themselves supposedly naturally without the help of man, simply by floating between the Americas and Africa, because -supposedly- some "ancient botanical sources" mentioned them. First of all these "botanical sources" do not exist, secondly all opuntia were introduced after Columbus' trip when spaniards brought prickly pears and entire plants back to Europe, from which they spread to Northern Africa. In this study , it clearly dates the introduction of Opuntia to early 17th century, while in this document, Opuntia is said to have taken roughly a century more to spread to South Africa by animals from where it was already introduced by man up north, in the 18th century, being observed for the first time then. All these studies are official and peer-reviewed, so I simply deleted the whole paragraph about opuntia introducing itself since "very early times" and being present in "ancient texts", because urban legends do not belong here and this is pure speculation based on nothing. (talk) 18:18, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

On the Evolution Section[edit]

I removed the evolution section because it had little to do with the main subject or evolution. It was mostly disambiguation, which repeated what was previously stated in the article and was otherwise trivial. If somebody would take the liberty to write a new evolution section, I would have no objections. on a similar note, i feel the italicized statement at the beginning of the article could be clarified, shortened, or perhaps removed entirely; however i will not attend to that as to not overextend my judgement.

Oliveoctet (talk) 22:52, 16 June 2015 (UTC)