succulent

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succulent

  • ₹250.00
  • Ex Tax:₹250.00

Definition

A general definition of succulents is that they are drought resistant plants in which the leaves, stem or roots have become more than usually fleshy by the development of water-storing tissue. Other sources exclude roots as in the definition "a plant with thick, fleshy and swollen stems and/or leaves, adapted to dry environments." This difference affects the relationship between succulents and "geophytes" – plants that survive unfavorable seasons as a resting bud on an underground organ. These underground organs, such as bulbs, corms and tubers, are often fleshy with water-storing tissues. Thus if roots are included in the definition, many geophytes would be classed as succulents. Plants adapted to living in dry environments such as succulents are termed xerophytes. However, not all xerophytes are succulents, since there are other ways of adapting to a shortage of water, e.g., by developing small leaves which may roll up or having leathery rather than succulent leaves. Nor are all succulents xerophytes, since plants like Crassula helmsii are both succulent and aquatic.

Appearance

The storage of water often gives succulent plants a more swollen or fleshy appearance than other plants, a characteristic known as succulence. In addition to succulence, succulent plants variously have other water-saving features. These may include:

Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) to minimize water loss

absent, reduced, or cylindrical-to-spherical leaves

reduction in the number of stomata

stems as the main site of photosynthesis, rather than leaves

compact, reduced, cushion-like, columnar, or spherical growth form

ribs enabling rapid increases in plant volume and decreasing surface area exposed to the sun

waxy, hairy, or spiny outer surface to create a humid micro-habitat around the plant, which reduces air movement near the surface of the plant, and thereby reduces water loss and creates shade

roots very near the surface of the soil, so they are able to take up moisture from very small showers or even from heavy dew

ability to remain plump and full of water even with high internal temperatures (e.g., 52 °C or 126 °F).

very impervious outer cuticle (skin).

mucilaginous substances, which retain water abundantly.

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