Succulent plants, also known as succulents or fat plants, are water-retaining plants adapted to arid climate or soil conditions. Succulent plants store water in their leaves, stems and/or roots. The storage of water often gives succulent plants a more swollen or fleshy appearance than other plants, also 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, rather than leaves, as the main site of photosynthesis
- A 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 reduce water loss via the creation of a humid microhabitat around the plant and a reduction in air movement near the surface of the plant.
See a preview of Succulents.