Juiciness, moistness, lusciousness are synonyms for succulence and they describe this adaptive strategy to a “T,” though likely not the words Johann Bauhin had in mind in 1619 when he first used the term to describe plants with thick leaves.
As a mechanism for survival, succulence allows plants to withstand temporary water shortages by storing moisture in their stems, roots or leaves. Sounds perfect for plants that grow here in the Sonoran Desert, yes?
Examples of succulent plants include our native cacti, agaves, yuccas, even ocotillos which are “semi-succulent.” It also applies to that broad grouping of soft leaved, spineless plants we refer to as “succulents” – echeverias, sedums, crassulas, etc. – native to the Americas and other dry places like Africa and even the Mediterranean.
So, whether an adaptive strategy or the darling of dish gardeners, succulence and succulents are a positive, cooling response to our desert heat.
Day 1 – Getting Started – What Is A Succulent?
Day 2 – Get Building – Choosing the Right Succulent and Providing the Right Care
Day 4 – Artistic Interpretation – A conversation with artist Rick DeMont and James Schaub, Tohono Chul Curator of Exhibitions