Asphodelaceae: the succulent leaf plant Astroloba tenax. Rebutia muscula, a succulent stem cactus. Crassulaceae: The succulent stem and leaf plant Crassula ovata.
What components make into a succulent?
Any plant that has fleshy, thick tissues that can store water is considered succulent. Some succulents, like cacti, only store water in the stem and have no or few leaves, but other succulents, like agaves, primarily store water in the leaves. The majority of succulents are endemic to deserts or areas with a semiarid season and have deep or wide root systems. More than 60 plant families have succulent species, with the Aizoaceae, Cactaceae, and Crassulaceae having the highest proportions. Aloe, Echeveria, Kalanchoe, and other plants are among those that are grown as ornamentals and indoor plants.
The timing of the opening of stomata, which are tiny mouthlike structures on the surface of plant leaves and stems, is one adaptation shared by many succulents. Stomata enable the exchange of water and oxygen with the environment as well as the uptake of carbon dioxide from the environment. The stomata of many succulent plants are closed during the day and open at night, in contrast to those of most plants. As a result, less water loss (transpiration) happens during the hot, dry daylight hours, while carbon dioxide (CO2) uptake takes place at night. As a result, these succulent plants display crassulacean acid metabolism, a modified form of CO2 fixation and photosynthesis.
What do you name a cactus leaf?
You might be in the desert, your neighborhood botanic garden, or your quirky neighbor’s eccentrically planted yard. You take a step back and immediately experience a severe leg discomfort. You turn to find a plant invading your personal space and piercing your flesh with its pointed spines and swelling stems. Instead of cursing, you choose a gentler word. Crazy cactus!
Almost any plant with swollen, succulent sections—especially if those parts have uncomfortably sharp edges—is usually referred to as a “cactus.” The armored succulent plants, however, are frequently no more closely related to onions or apple trees than they are to cacti. There are numerous spiky, thorny succculents that do not fit the definition of a cactus because they do not belong to that particular family of plants.
You can find many instances if you quickly browse Flickr’s history. For instance, this clumping aloe ground cover came up as the very first result in my morning search for the term “cactus,” with the label “cactus green.”
Aloes have the same succulent shape that many cacti have, and some of its species have strong spines. However, they are not closely related to cacti. It is believed that between 130 and 170 million years ago, during the Jurassic, aloes and cacti shared a similar progenitor. In terms of our most recent shared ancestors, aloes and cacti are far more closely linked to you and I than they are to aardvarks.
Another plant that is frequently mistaken for a cactus is an agave, as seen in this wonderful image titled “cactus in black and white”:
Spines, succulent, but not a cactus. Compared to cactus, agaves and aloes are rather closely related to one another because they both belong to the Asparagales order. The taxonomic unit above “family” is called an order. Aloes and agaves are still only very distantly related to one another. While aloes are often found in Africa, Arabia, and several nearby islands, agaves emerged in the Americas.
What else is referred to as a “cactus” that isn’t? Well, for starters, yuccas and Joshua trees. Succulents without spines like Lithops, Echeverria, Haworthia, and Stapelia frequently have incorrect names. Even though ocotillos are not extremely succulent, they are frequently referred to be cacti.
The succulent Euphorbias, some of which can accommodate persons who would never mistake a yucca for a cactus, would have to be the largest group of plants incorrectly referred to as “cacti”:
Although I would have had to look again, the photographer here correctly identified the plant.
We have a variety of unrelated plants, but they all tend to have two things in common: most of them are succulents, and most of them have protective spines, thorns, or other sharp components. How come?
What gives is evolution. Specifically, a process of development known as “convergent evolution,” in which essentially unrelated species that face comparable environments over time develop similar coping mechanisms.
In addition to their fatty, armored portions, these plants all share the fact that the majority of them evolved in dry environments. Long dry spells are more likely to be survived by plants that can store as much water as they can in their stems, leaves, and roots.
Additionally, you must maintain the water that has already been stored in your tissues. The fact that there are creatures scurrying about who would love to steal your water by devouring those succulent plant portions will be one of your major problems. You will be able to reproduce if you can stop those hungry and thirsty animals in any way possible.
In other words, a tried-and-true method for surviving arid climates is to become an armored succulent. It is hardly unexpected that many unrelated plants have adopted that tactic.
Consider which plant component is which as one strategy. Aloes, agaves, yuccas, and many other garden succulents have modified leaves as their succulent sections. Most of the time, the parts of cactus succulents are modified stems. The majority of cacti lack leaves, and those that do can be quickly distinguished as such because they are little, transient green objects that sprout laterally from succulent stalks.
Although the pads of prickly pears are frequently referred to as “leaves,” they hardly ever develop further leaves. Those modified stems are those flat pads. Jade plants, for example, have anatomy similar to other trees and shrubs, but they are thicker. Leaf succulents, on the other hand, typically have leaves that grow in spirally rosettes, like yuccas, aloes, and agaves. It’s almost probably not a cactus if you locate a plant with a rosette of structures that resemble they might have developed from leaves.
There is a cute kind of cactus called Leuchtenbergia principis that has extended non-leaf stem lumps called “tubercles” and can resemble a rosette leaf succulent. This is almost definitely true, but it is not a given. simply to keep things complex.
Observing where the spines are developing is the simplest and most accurate technique to determine whether something is a cactus. The modified leaves that make up cactus spines all originate from a specific “organ” called an areole that is only found in cacti. Every spine you see on a cactus will be growing out of an areole, which is a little patch that is typically elevated and has a woolly or hairy appearance (but don’t touch it to be sure). Only cacti have areoles, which can occasionally be difficult to spot because of wear from the weather but can still be seen if you know what to look for.
Even euphorbias that resemble cactus won’t be able to trick you once you know what an areole looks like. it is advantageous. In the desert, there are many spiky plants, and you don’t want to accidentally curse the incorrect one.
What is the name for succulent sprouts?
they develop from the full-grown plant. They can also be known as pups. This is merely one more
Succulent offset data reveals “A little, nearly full daughter plant that has grown organically and asexually from the mother plant is known as an offset. They are clones, which means that they share the mother plant’s genetic makeup. This is one of the simplest ways to multiply succulents because they are clones of the parent.
The mature, healthy plant finally gives rise to tiny pups. Some species produce stems with growing pups at the ends. Others develop bunches on the sides of the plants that seem to double, which prompts you to wonder, “Does my succulent have pups yet? Offsets can occasionally grow beneath the plant without your knowledge until they are mature. You’ll eventually get the ability to recognize puppies on succulents.
What distinguishes a succulent plant or leaf?
A category of plants known as succulents has some of the most unusual shapes, hues, and blooms. The busy gardener will love these low-maintenance indoor and outdoor species. A succulent plant is what? Specialized plants known as succulents hold water in their leaves, stems, or both. They are wonderfully suited to hostile environments with little or irregular access to water. A succulent is described as “full of juice” or “juicy” by Merriam Webster. Read on for some entertaining information about succulent plants so you can start collecting the countless types of this unique class of plants.
What is the name for the hairs on a leaf?
There is an epidermis on many plant components. It is the outermost layer of cells on immature plant parts; some cells differentiate into root hairs on roots, into different types of hair on stems and leaves (pubescence), and into stomata on leaves, stems, and berries.
Trichomes, the botanical term for plant hairs, can be found on stems or leaves. On a stem or leaf, they may be living or dead, deciduous or permanent; on a root, they are short-lived and restricted to the absorption zone, known as “root hairs,” and they are prolonged epidermal cells.
Glabrous refers to leaves or stems that lack hairs. Plant sections with pubescence are covered with short, delicate, and silky hairs. A hairy covering of short, tightly matted hairs covers tomentose parts.
Cactus is it a stem or a leaf?
A perennial plant is a cactus. Their cylindrical or flattened stalks are covered in meat or succulents. The photosynthetic, green stems typically serve this purpose instead of the leaves, which are typically much diminished in number or entirely nonexistent in most adult cacti. Sharp bristles and spines that cover the majority of cactus species provide excellent protection and discourage most herbivores.
Cactus plants feature multiple surface areoles, which are cushion- or pit-like structures from which clusters of spines typically emerge. Areoles are typically understood in terms of developmental biology as axillary stem branches that are still in the process of developing. In reality, the spines are modified leaves. Additional defenses for the areoles include hook-like barbs called glochidia. Cacti have shallow, potentially widely dispersed soil roots.
Cacti typically have complete (bisexual) flowers that have both male reproductive organs (stamens) and female parts (a pistil). Although numerous distinct flowers may be present on a cactus at once, the flowers usually appear alone rather than in clusters. Most cacti species have huge, beautiful flowers that can be white, red, pink, orange, or yellow but seldom blue. The multiple petals and the sepal-like calyx combine to form an attractive, frequently fragrant flower that produces nectar and attracts pollinators including hawkmoths, bees, bats, and birds, particularly hummingbirds and tiny doves. The fruit is a berry with many seeds.
Cacti are xerophytic plants, which means they have evolved physiologically and morphologically to survive in extremely dry environments like deserts. The following characteristics of cacti make them suitable for xerophytic environments: (1) their succulent, water-retentive stems; (2) a thick, waxy cuticle and few or no leaves to significantly reduce water losses through transpiration; (3) stems that are photosynthetic, so leaves are not necessary to carry out this function; (4) stems that are cylindrical or spherical in shape, which lowers the surface to volume ratio and aids in moisture preservation; and, finally, (8) a periodic pattern of growth, productivity, and flowering that takes advantage of the moisture availability during the brief rainy season, while the plant remains dormant at drier times of the year. (5) tolerance of high tissue temperatures; (6) protection of the biomass and moisture reserves from herbivores by an armament of stout spines; (7) a physiological tolerance of long periods of drought; and (8) tolerance to high tissue temperatures.
As part of their so-called crassulacean-acid metabolism, cacti only absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide at night when their stomates are open. When the sun is shining during the day, the carbon dioxide is fixed into four-carbon organic acids and can then be released within the plant to be converted into sugars by photosynthesis. The crassulacean-acid metabolism, which enables stomates to remain tightly closed during the day, is an effective method of water conservation in arid settings.
In Texas’ Big Bend National Park, a prickly pear cactus. The only common eastern cactus in the United States is the prickly pear. As far north as southern Ontario, it can be found. By Robert J. Huffman, a photograph. Publications by Field Mark. Reproduction permitted.
Despite not being related to cactus, some dryland plant species look very similar to one another (at least, apart from their flowers and fruits, which are always distinctive among plant families). Convergent evolution—the similar evolutionary growth of unrelated species or families under similar types of environmental selective pressures—is what led to this. Non-botanists frequently mistake some species of spurges (family Euphorbiaceae) that grow in arid environments for cactus, despite the fact that they are actually relatively unrelated.
What is the name of the flat-leaf cactus?
Numerous closely related plants from tropical regions of South and Central America are referred to as “Christmas cactus.” Due to their spectacular flowers and epiphytic growth habits, the plants are sometimes known as orchid cacti. Most species lack spines except as seedlings, and their stems are flat and leaf-like. Although the plants in the wild bloom in the spring, growing circumstances can be changed to change the flowering season to correspond with Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter. Christmas cacti are classified as part of the Schlumbergera genus of plants, which is also known by the names Epiphyllum and Zygocactus.
Is the spine of a cactus a leaf?
Spines are a different kind of leaf. The spines of cacti are completely changed leaves that serve as the plant’s defense against herbivores, a source of heat radiation from the stem during the day, and a reservoir for condensed water vapour during the cooler nighttime hours.
Why do succulents have strings?
It appears that string succulents are becoming more and more well-liked. They are admired for their lovely delicate form by both succulent collectors and house decorators.
Describe the string succulent. As the name suggests, their pattern of growth creates creeping threads or chains. Numerous traits shared by all string succulents include dangling stems and fleshy green foliage. Because of this, they make superb specimens for hanging displays both inside and outside. They are particularly helpful in vertical gardens and wall pockets.
String The management of succulents is typically similar from plant to plant. However, they vary in terms of shape, texture, color, size, blooming, stem and leaf development, and appearance. Others have pendant stems, while some have an upright body. Either a vine or more leaf rows can be produced to create stems.
In addition to needing little upkeep, these plants are also lovely as decorations. The top five string succulents to start or add to your collection are listed below.
Curio rowleyanus, commonly known as String of Pearls or String of Beads
Beautiful trailing succulent Curio rowleyanus, originally known as Senecio rowleyanus, is a native of the arid regions of southwest Africa. It gets its common name from specialized leaves that resemble little peas in size and form. The summer months bring about the appearance of the tiny, brush-like, white to nearly white blooms.