What Kind Of Succulent Do I Have

Succulent IdentificationWhy It Matters

When you adore succulents, it becomes crucial to know their names at some time. The correct identification of succulents, as I have discussed before, can actually mean the difference between life and death! Despite having quite diverse traits, many varieties of succulents may have the same common name or a comparable look. Their ability to weather the winter makes a difference sometimes. A misidentification of a succulent could result in plants that have died from the cold. Some succulents, though, are poisonous to kids and dogs. Pets and young children can safely consume Sedum morganianum, however Euphorbia myrsinites is extremely hazardous. To protect your family and plants, take care to understand how to identify the types of succulents you have.

Recognizing Different Types of Succulents

A succulent plant is any plant that holds water in its leaves, stems, or roots. The appearances of many types vary greatly from one another. Succulent varieties can, however, seem quite alike. Two genera that are frequently mistaken for one another are Echeveria and Sempervivum. Hens and chicks is the popular name for both. Each plant forms a substantial rosette, giving them a similar appearance. They replicate similarly, each creating offsets. The young succulents that emerge at the base and spread out next to the main rosette are known as succulent offsets. But while the other perishes with just one freeze, the first survives at temperatures much below zero.

You will eventually be able to identify more varieties of succulents solely by appearance. Even if you are now unable to distinguish between a Sempervivum and an Echeveria, if you keep looking and looking for the differences, eventually you will be able to. Sounds strange, I realize. However, just as you are aware of your own child, even when they are surrounded by other children, Or perhaps you are only familiar with your own cat. One skill we all have is the ability to notice subtle differences. Simply said, we employ this expertise in a variety of ways. Perhaps you can identify the differences between 1960s muscle vehicles. I can distinguish between wolves and coyotes. Some people can easily tell a Cabernet from a different vintage apart, or they can recognize different bird species by their cries. Succulent identification only requires practice.

In the image above, there is one obvious difference between Sempervivum and Echeveria. Do you see how the sempervivum’s leaf border is covered in a plethora of tiny hairs? Those hairs are ciliates. A ring of minute hairs called ciliate (SILL-ee-uht) hairs extends along the… They gather dew for the plant in its desert environment. Sempervivum has few echeveriado, but these ciliate hairs. Most likely, your plant is not an Echeveria if the margins are covered in microscopic hairs. (The leaves of fuzzy echeveria are covered in fine hairs.)

Identifying SucculentsNote Characteristics

Another frequent query in identifying succulents is how to differentiate between Aeonium and Echeveria. Additionally, certain Aeonium feature ciliate hairs. The stems of Aeonium and Echeveria, however, are another difference. Echeveria rosettes generally develop close to the soil surface, like Sempervivum. However, aeonium develops long, branching, woody stems with rosettes at each terminal.

Look for the details to tell apart various succulent varieties. As we’ve seen, some types have smooth leaves while others have ciliate hairs along the leaf margins. Observe the leaf thickness as well. The leaves of Echeveria are generally thicker than those of Sempervivum or Aeonium, but not as thick as those of Graptopetalum. Here are a few plant traits to consider when determining whether a plant is a succulent:

Succulents: Do they have names?

The popularity of succulent plants is explained. They not only thrive on their own but also work well with other kinds of plants. Additionally, the Pantone color of the year, Greenery, is totally on style with succulents! Succulents come in a variety of sizes, hues, and styles that may be used in anything from a child’s room to a home office.

Succulents that are grown inside do best in conditions that are dry and low in humidity. While they prefer direct sunshine, they can also tolerate less intense lighting, which makes them perfect for interior design. The top 10 indoor succulent plant types are listed in the following paragraphs.

Can succulents be grown in just rocks?

It should be obvious that succulents will thrive when planted in rocks given these circumstances. They drain very well and do not retain water, which eliminates the possibility of root rot. This does not include another component of soil, though, since all plants need nutrients.

Although succulents are not particularly hungry plants, they do need certain nutrients to grow. Other micronutrients like zinc or iron are needed in smaller levels, whereas macronutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium are essential. The plant won’t grow at all or last very long without these nutrients.

By their very nature, rocks don’t release nutrients quickly enough to keep the plants alive. They are composed of minerals, but since they decompose so slowly over time, they are not appropriate for growing on their own. Additionally, they often don’t retain enough moisture, allowing the roots to quickly dry out after draining practically instantly.

Sadly, this means that succulents cannot thrive permanently without soil in rocks. If not given regular care, they may survive for several weeks or even months on the nutrients found in the stems and leaves.

What kind of succulent resembles a cactus?

Cacti come in a variety of species. However, there are other plants that resemble cactus but are not actually cacti. This article will provide you with a list of plants that resemble cacti but are actually different species. This will assist you in choosing cacti and will provide general knowledge.

How are cacti different from other plants?

One thing to keep in mind is that not all succulents are cacti, but all cacti are succulents. Although many succulents resemble cacti, they are not. Numerous succulents also resemble cacti thanks to their spines.

Cacti vary from other plants in the following ways:

  • Areoles are only found in cactus. Flowers and fruits sprout from these bumpy patches and spikes. A plant is not a cactus even if it has spines but no areoles.
  • Spines are separate organs that are present in cacti. A cactus spine should break if you tug on it without pulling the skin (skin). Other plants have epidermis-born spines that, if pulled, will rip the skin.
  • Cactus flowers are distinctive and only bloom for a week at most.

Plants that look like cacti, but aren’t:

  • Aloe
  • Yucca
  • Haworthia
  • Stapelia
  • Pachypodium
  • Agave
  • Euphorbia
  • Fouquieria splendens, often known as ocotillo
  • Echeveria
  • Gasteria
  • Aizoaceae, or ice plants
  • Huernia
  • Lithops


A succulent plant known as aloe resembles a cactus. This plant offers a number of health advantages, which makes it quite popular in medicine. Aloe comes in more than 450 different species.

Additionally, aloe has spikes on its stalks and blooms throughout the summer. It is a succulent once more, not a cactus. The most popular species is aloe vera.


Yucca plants can be either shrubs or trees. These plants grow to be quite huge and have numerous leaves with various points. They generally thrive in cacti-like environments, and their pointed leaves give them the appearance of cacti. Similar to cactus, it is drought-resistant, requires little watering, and thrives in well-draining soil.


The Haworthia is a stunning succulent with thick, upward-growing leaves that frequently have little spikes on them. They are Southern African natives. They grow in rosettes of leaves.

Numerous Haworthia species have pointed leaf tips and sides as well as modest growth rates and extended lifespans. Some plants have leaves with a rough feel. The majority of Haworthia plants are tiny and look like aloe plants.


Beautiful succulent plants called stapelia are native to Africa. This plant also has blooms, and the flowers are typically an odd reddish-brown hue, shaped like a star, highly hairy, and odorous. The plant itself has thin, blunt spines on its leaves that resemble cacti. Although it is not a cactus, this plant is highly unusual.


Succulent plants called Pachypodium grow as trees or bushes. They are incredibly unusual plants with strong trunks that can store water to withstand droughts. The top of Pachypodium contains leaves, and the trunk is frequently coated with spines.

The plant’s top has leaves and looks like a palm tree. The spines on this plant don’t regenerate and it grows very slowly. Even pachypodium produces huge white flowers 4-6 years after reaching its ideal size.


A plant in the genus of monocots known as agave, often known as the century plant, resembles cacti in certain ways. Tequila, sugar, and various medications are all made from specific agave species.

Large, thick leaves on these Agave plants grow vertically and frequently have a pointed tip. These plants are primarily found in South America in hot, arid regions where cacti are also found. They have an aloe-like appearance.

A group of plants known as euphorbia, often known as spurge, resemble cactus. There are numerous varieties of this plant, and the majority of them blossom and have spines. They don’t grow from areoles, but their spines resemble cacti’s quite closely.

In contrast to cactus, which typically feature big flowers, their blossoms are frequently modest. Furthermore, cacti don’t have latex in their stems, whereas euphorbia plants emit a white fluid that does. The euphorbia probably resembles cactus the most.

Ocotillo, or Fouquieria splendens

Although ocotillo resembles a cactus, it is not a true cactus. They go by several other names, including desert coral and Jacob’s cactus. Large plants called ocotillo have cactus-like spines on their leaves.

These plants can be found growing close to cactus in the Southwest of the United States and Mexico. The ocotillo plant resembles a stick because of its strong base and upward-growing stems with leaves that may be lacking. They bloom as well.


Despite not having a particularly cactus-like appearance, some people refer plants Echeveria as cacti. These are rosettes-forming stonecrop plants. They also blossom and flourish in rather arid circumstances.

They are frequently referred to as hens and chicks. This genus has a large number of plants, many of which grow in rosettes. Other plants, like those in the Sempervivum genus, also resemble hens and chicks.


People frequently mistake the succulent Gasteria for a cactus. This is so because Gasteria have large leaves with little spikes on them and a thick base. Most commonly found in South Africa, Gasteria can blossom and produce lovely, curled flowers.

Ice Plants, or Aizoaceae

A huge plant genus with more than 1600 species including ice plants. Some of them resemble Lithops, or stone plants, and others closely resemble the cactus Rhipsalis. They flourish in New Zealand and South Africa.


Succulent plants belonging to the genus Huernia are found in Africa. These plants have tall stems with spikes on them and are very similar to Stapelia. They also have bell- or star-shaped blooms. Flowers are typically vibrant and have a variety of colors and textures.

Similar to Stapelia blooms, they frequently have a disagreeable odor. The plants resemble cactus a lot because of their spines. Particularly Huernia pillansii resembles a cactus in appearance.

Lithops, or Aizoaceae

Lithops are little stone plants that belong to the same family as ice plants. They are particularly unusual plants since they are tiny, rounded, and blossom. Living stones known as lithops are from southern Africa. You may learn more about Lithops care by reading our article, which is available here.

Can you recognize succulents with an app?

The best app for identifying flowers, cacti, succulents, and mushrooms is called PlantSnapi. The program searches through a database of more than 600,000 plants using image recognition software that is powered by machine learning.


Software for automatic pattern recognition powers this. It states that it can detect 99 percent of common species with an accuracy rating of 95 percent. The app’s searchable database also includes more than 10,000 species.

Researchers from Columbia University, the University of Maryland, and the Smithsonian Institution created Leafsnap. It employs visual recognition software to distinguish between different tree species based on how their leaves look. Currently, the app features trees from Canada and the Northeastern United States.

How can I tell which plant it is?

Knowing how to identify a plant is a useful ability to learn for both safety and plant care purposes, whether you’ve come into possession of an unknown houseplant or garden plant or simply stumbled upon a fascinating plant in the wild. Always start with a basic understanding of botany and plant species. Beyond that, there are a few methods you can take to determine the broad species of an enigmatic plant.

  • 1. Take note of the area and climate. The key to correctly identifying a plant is to take note of the environment and its circumstances. Use your environment to determine what potential plant varieties you might encounter. For instance, coniferous forests in cold climates frequently contain evergreen trees. Desert areas with little rainfall and sandy soil are more conducive to the growth of succulents and cacti. In humid, damp environments, algae, ferns, and tropical flowers are most prevalent.
  • 2. Examine the branches and stems. Look for any distinctive features on the plant’s stalks and branches that can offer hints as to what kind of thing it is. Woody plants typically have stems and branches made of hardwood, whereas herbaceous plants typically have soft, flexible stems and branches (which usually occur as perennials or annuals). A form of ivy, fruit bushes, or climbing plants from the broad bean family are examples of plants that have trailing or climbing vines (Fabaceae).
  • 3. Note the size and form of the leaf. The plant’s species can be determined in part by the size and shape of its leaves. While sharp pine needles suggest an evergreen species (unless you’re dealing with a broadleaf evergreen variant), broad, wide leaves may indicate a tropical plant. Herbaceous plants may have triangular leaves, while succulents may have thick, waxy leaves.
  • 4. Verify the leaf placement. You can learn a lot about a plant’s species by observing the shape and structure of its leaves. (Leaves will also be present throughout the entire growth season of the plant, not only the flowering stage.) The plant’s leaves have lobes, so count them and observe whether the lobes are smooth or notched. Poison ivy may appear as clusters of three leaflets with blunt teeth, whereas poison oak may have rounder lobes. Together, these information can help you identify the species you see and determine whether it is safe for you to touch the plant.
  • 5. Take note of fruits and flowers. Berries and fruits on a flowering plant might help you determine the species. Fruits with blue, black, or purple skins are frequently edible, whereas berries with green, white, or yellow skins are probably poisonous. (Always examine the edibility of berries before consuming any.) Another crucial stage in identification is determining the plant’s toxicity. To determine if you are dealing with weeds or wildflowers, some of which may be edible, look at the flower’s color and number of petals (like dandelions or chicory, which have many petals). You should stay away from the majority of plants with umbrella-clumping flowers since they are highly harmful.
  • 6. Check for thorns, hairs, or barbs. Examine the plant’s leaves and stems for any defense-related features like barbs, bristles, or thorns. The stems of stinging nettle are covered in needle-like hairs. The skin of some poisonous mushrooms secretes a milky sap. It’s recommended to avoid personal contact with these plants if you see them outside because touching them can irritate your skin.
  • 7. Take in the odor. While certain herbs, like parsley, rosemary, and basil, have pleasant aromas, others emit unpleasant odors. Natural sulfur- or fecal-smelling plants, like crown imperials or female ginkgo trees, can also provide you a clue about the species of plant you’re engaging with.
  • 8. Examine the roots. If it’s safe to do so, examine the plant’s roots to observe how they are growing (either from rooted stems, rhizomes, bulbs, or tubers). Expanding horizontally, underground rhizomes form new root systems and produce new shoots from nodes. Lily of the valley, asparagus, and ginger are examples of plants with rhizomes. Although bulbs and tubers both have inflated underground stems, their growth patterns are different. Bulb plants include tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths. The original bulb’s base produces new bulbs, and the surface of the tubers bears buds from which new stems emerge. Tuberous roots are found in a lot of flowering plants, including dahlias, daylilies, and peonies.
  • 9. Research the topic. It is vital to remember that many plants have deadly wild counterparts, so you probably won’t be able to identify a plant based on just one feature. Before handling or ingesting unidentified plants outdoors, learn about the anatomy and structures of plants before relying solely on your eyes and experience. Read studies and articles written by respected botanists. Learn about possibly invasive species before bringing home cuttings to plant in your garden to avoid having a foreign plant take over your homegrown plants.
  • 10. Use an app to identify plants. Download a smartphone plant identification software instead of relying on your own field guide. This app uses artificial intelligence to identify a specimen’s scientific name, common names, and general characteristics from a single snapshot of the plant. The majority of programs have an in-app camera capability that lets you snap a picture of the plant and enter specific details. To assist in identifying the plant, the app will compare its features to those of the species in its database of plants.