Even though succulents are low maintenance plants, being able to identify different types of succulents still help you take better care of them. While there are thousands of varieties of succulents with some look similar, there are certain features you can rely on to pinpoint each genus.
That said, here are some of the most widely known succulents explained with the physical traits that you can use to identify your succulent quickly.
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There is no doubt that cactus is the most recognizable genus among succulents. Based on two prominent physical characteristics, stem and areoles, you can easily tell if it is a cactus.
A majority of cactus have green, leafless and spiny stem. Cactus leaf are reduced to spine and they have bulbous body allow them to store water.
The second clue to spot a cacti is to look for its areoles. This is the wooly, hairy part on the body of the cactus where the spine emerge. This is a unique structure that can only be found on Cactus.
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While it is difficult to come up with a common identification for all Senecio, there are some tips you can apply to spot some recognizable Senecio varieties.
The first Senecio that you might encounter quite often is the stringy type. Their leaves densely grow on a very long and vine-like stem, which makes this particular succulent a great hanging plant.
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Another Senecio worth mentioning have stick-like body with chubby, long leaves either growing vertically or pine-like.
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Crassula family come in multiple shapes but the most common form is the stack formation. The stacked Crassula have leaves emerging symmetrically in pairs . They layer on top of each other surrounding a long central stem. The main stem grow upright and have a tree-like shape. The stacked Crassula often produces fleshy and triangle-shaped leaves.
Of course, there are some exceptions when these Crassula have finger-like or spoon-like leaves.
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Sometimes Sedum are mistaken for Crassula since their baby form share many similarities. As they mature, their differences start to become more visible.
The most recognizable feature of sedum is the rosette; the leaves have the thick and chubby appearance, stacked around a long stem like a rose. Keep in mind that these succulents often grow in lumps, which make for great ground covers.
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If your succulents happen to have flat, large and spoon-shaped leaves, it is very likely to be a Kalanchoe. These plants often produce leaves with smooth-edged or saw-tooth margin. Some of the most well-known types of Kalanchoe such as Mother of Thousand propagate by growing buds on the outer rim of the leaves.
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The last category of succulents in our identification series is Cotyledon. It is fairly easy to spot a Cotyledon based on features on their leaves. Cotyledon generally have bulbous and cupped leaves. Some types of cotyledon have smooth edge, other often grow 3-4 teeth on the edges of their leaves, which resemble a bear paw.
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As mentioned earlier, knowing about succulent features and identifying them based on physical traits is extremely important. Of course, not every succulent requires the same care; after identifying your succulent, you will need to provide it the healthy growing conditions it requires.
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