15+ Most Popular Succulents (Best Known For Size/Shape/Meaning, As Houseplants & More)

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Some succulents are quirky, while others are cute. Some succulents are colorful, while others are fearful. What we can all agree with is that succulents are some of the most creative of mother nature’s handwork.

These varieties of perennial plants are brilliant for those trying out green thumbs for the first time because they do not ask for much. Four to six hours of sunshine and a drink now and then will keep them budding for years on end.

There are hundreds of succulents to choose from. We decided to break them down into small groups to catch your attention.

Indoor Succulents

From an old cup to a painted ceramic pot, these popular succulent species are perfect for small spaces and will brighten up any nook and cranny.

1. Crassula ovata – The Jade Plant

Known to bless the house in which it resides, the Jade Plant transcends cultures and language barriers to become one of the most popular succulents—commonly associated with good luck, friendship, and financial success. The Jade Plant is among the most admired, no-brainer gifts for any occasion.

16 Most popular succulent species in the world
The Jade Plant @littlegreenfam

The scientific name for the Jade Plant is Crassula OvataCrassula means thick on account of the fleshy leaves, and Ovata, points towards the shape of the leaves. This popular succulent species originally hails from Mozambique, Eastern Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal provinces in South Africa. 

Like a Bonsai tree, the Jade plant has a thick trunk and broad, olive-green leaves. Given the right conditions, it will produce small white or pink flowers. This celebrated succulent also goes by the names Lucky Plant, Money Plant, Silver Dollar, Money Tree, and Friendship Tree.

2. Zebra haworthia – The Zebra Plant

Indigenous to South Africa, the picture-perfect Zebra Haworthia or Zebra Plant uplifts any space in a pretty pot.

16 Most popular succulent species in the world
The Zebra Plant @mygreentales

Staying true to its name, this succulent exhibits stocky, dark jade leaves with horizontal white stripes, like a zebra pattern. The leaves form in the shape of a rosette and can grow between 4 and 8 inches tall. This succulent produces tubular pink or white flowers that develop from a thin inflorescence.

A fun fact about the Zebra Plant is that it communicates with you. If it is in a location with too much direct sunshine (more than 6 hours), the leaves turn red. Brown marks on the leaf’s surface facing the sun indicate sunburn, and if the leaves start to look transparent or yellow, it is getting too much water.

Therapeutic Succulents

While some popular succulent species may look dangerous to come close to, some are known for their medicinal and remedial values that you might want around you.

1. Sansevieria trifasciata – The Snake Plant

Tracing its heritage from Nigeria, tropical West Africa to the Congo. This wild-looking plant gets its fierce aliases, The Snake Plant or Mother-in-law’s Tongue, mainly due to the shape of its razor-sharp leaf margins. Jutting out of the ground or a potted plant, the Snake Plant has vertical, thick leaves that grow from a rosette, reaching up like flames in a roaring campfire.

Quickly attaining a height of 2 meters, this tenacious succulent can tolerate abuse, neglect, and unsuitable growing conditions like a champ. It can go for more than six weeks without water and in direct sunlight.

16 Most popular succulent species in the world
The Snake Plant @jadesjunglegram

The Snake Plant is revered for its health benefits that were discovered by NASA when trying to figure out how to purify the air in space stations. They found that this succulent removes toxins such as formaldehyde found in cleaning products, tissues as well as personal care products. 

It also converts carbon dioxide into oxygen through the night, purifying the air. You can comfortably sit in an air-sealed room with no airflow and the Snake Plant for a significant amount of time.

2. Aloe Vera

This widespread succulent species needs no introduction. With a medical history dating back to 16th Century BC, Aloe Vera has been honored as ‘The Plant of Immortality,’ featuring as an active ingredient in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and food industries.

Sighted initially in the South Western Arabian Peninsula, Aloe Vera wildly grows in tropical, semi-tropical, and arid climates worldwide. This unusual succulent has elongated, pointed, chunky leaves with serrated leaf margins that can grow between 12 – 19 inches (30-50 cm) in length.

16 Most popular succulent species in the world
Aloe Vera @boubkir_elouali

Each leaf has a slimy, water-filled tissue or ‘gel’ that contains the plants’ bioactive compounds. These include minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and amino acids.

Aloe Vera plant has been applied as a topical medication to heal cuts and burns. When ingested, Aloe has a strong laxative effect that is used to treat constipation. Aloe Vera has also been linked with enhanced insulin sensitivity to improve blood sugar management.

Are you interested in growing Aloe at your house? Be sure to check out “How to Grow Aloe Vera” for more.

Air Succulents

With over 650 varieties of the Tillandsia, these tiny floating evergreens known as air plants defied gravity and were discovered hanging around the tropical climate of Central and South America. Epiphytes do not require soil to grow but instead attach themselves to trees, rocks, and fences without feeding off the host.

1. Tillandsia stricta

This succulent scientific name (Tillandsia stricta) translates to ‘erect,’ demonstrating the upright habit of this plant—other colloquial names are Upright Air Plant, Strict Tillandsia, and Erect Tillandsia

A resident of Trinidad, Venezuela, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Guyana, and northern Argentina, Tillandsia stricta may vary in size, color, and leaf formation depending on the climate.

16 Most popular succulent species in the world
Tillandsia stricta @twisted_magnolias

This clump-forming perennial has short-stemmed leaves that grow into thick rosettes. Tillandsia Stricta produces attractive white and pink floral bracts when in bloom. The bracts remain vibrant for up to 10 weeks and produce a showy bright blue flower, but only for a day.

Tillandsia stricta can be mounted on virtually anything, including wood, rocks, ceramics, and seashells. 

Check out “5 Types of Air Plants” to see more kinds of air plants you can own and enjoy.

2. Tillandsia ionantha maxima huamelula

Known as T. maxima, this upright shaped succulent catches your attention as it shows off bright hues of purple, pink, green, and blue, reminding you of a stunning firework display.

Originating from Oaxaca in Mexico, the T. maxima has succulent, moss green leaves that seem to burst out from a central point.

The thick leaves start dark green at the base, and when exposed to direct sunlight for long periods, the leaves turn a blush pinkish-red. When in bloom, this air succulent produces multiple, striking purple flowers with yellow tips. 

16 Most popular succulent species in the world
Tillandsia ionantha maxima huamelula @besstillys

The plant can grow up to 6 inches tall.

The T. maxima is an interior designer’s dream succulent because its colorful and unusual form makes it a focal point when mounted on a piece of driftwood or dangling in a display globe.

Be sure to also check out “9 Flowering Succulents for Indoors” to see a great list of indoor succulents that flower.

Edible Succulents

Have you ever considered serving popular succulent species at your next dinner party?

1. Opuntia ficus-indica – Prickly Pear

If you have ever dabbled in Mexican cuisine, you may have come across Sopa de Nopal (Nopale Soup) or a salad with the fruit called Tunas. These delicacies are created with the Prickly Pear cactus as the star attraction.

Nopales are the Spanish vegetable name for the flat, oval leaves of this succulent that have featured in Native American recipes for hundreds of years. The leaves of the Prickly Pear can be roasted with garlic butter or added to vegetable casseroles. Its mild, neutral flavor is similar to asparagus or green beans.

16 Most popular succulent species in the world
Prickly Pear @parkerplantz

The fruit ‘Tunas’ grows on the tips of the leaves and turns a deep red when ready for harvesting. The health benefits of this succulent include high fiber from the leaves and calcium from the fruit.

Are you interested in more from the cacti species? Check out “Devil’s Head Cactus – Echinocactus Horizonthalonius” for another kind that’ll catch your eye.

2. Portulaca oleracea – Purslane

When looking for a vegetable to add to your next salad, try Portulaca oleracea, or Purslane. This edible succulent was found initially in areas of Northern Africa, Southern Europe, the Middle East, India, and Australasia. 

The fast-growing Purslane is identified by different names and has been used in recipes since the Middle Ages.

Purslane appears as smooth red stems sprouting out oval-shaped, green leaves and blooms bright yellow flowers. The whole plant (leaves, stems, flowers, and seeds) is all edible, and this succulent has been considered a nutritional powerhouse in the medical and culinary world. 

16 Most popular succulent species in the world
The Purslane @thelocalplantypus

It helps in organ detoxification and weight management, as well as being a rich source of vitamins A and C.

Identified as having more Omega-3 Fatty Acids than some fish and most green vegetables, Purslane is a vegan’s dream succulent. Note that eating Purslane frequently can be harmful because of the Oxalic acid found in the plant.

Need more options on edible succulents? Take a look at our piece “6 Edible Succulents to Excite Your Taste Buds” for more.

Aesthetic Succulents

When looking to add drama to your plant collection, go bold with blushful colors and lustful tints.

1. Senecio mandraliscae – Blue Chalk Sticks

This exotic South African native may be mistaken for a sea urchin. It will turn heads and attract comments such as ground cover, perimeter walls, or terrariums. They are scientifically known as Senecio mandraliscae. This succulent emerges as silvery blue, pencil-like fleshy leaves, giving it the colloquial names Blue Finger and Blue Chalk Sticks.

16 Most popular succulent species in the world
Blue Chalk sticks @shell_on_earth

The blue leaves have a waxy coat that protects the succulent from hot, dry conditions and can grow between 2 and 4 inches long. Blue Chalk Sticks grow as thick mats reaching between 12 and 16 inches across.

In the middle of summer, this succulent produces small, white flowers and can go for long periods without water. Blue Chalk Sticks are also famous for their fire resilient qualities.

2. Sempervivum – Hens and Chicks

Have you heard of the succulent that thrives ideally on the rooftop of a building? Sempervivum, or the ‘Hens and Chicks’ succulent, can be spotted on the roofs of old European cottages. It is intentionally planted to keep roof slates in place and protect the building from fire and lightning. Its origins spread from Western Asia to North Africa and Southern Europe.

16 Most popular succulent species in the world
Hens and Chicks @marjtheplantlady

This popular succulent species gets its nickname from how it propagates through offsets. ‘Hens’ refers to the parent rosette or mother plant, while ‘Chicks’ refers to the offsets. They appear as clusters of compact rosettes with thick fleshy leaves growing alternately from a central point.

Sempervivum has a surprisingly high tolerance to cold. Temperatures below -34°C in Colorado and Michigan. It is known to reproduce with wild abandon. It has over 40 different species that can be differentiated by color. You can be sure to find something for your next roofing DIY.

Learn how to grow this great succulent with our piece “How to Grow Hens & Chicks Succulents“.

3. Lipstick Echeveria, Echeveria Agavoides

Lipstick Echeveria Agavoides Succulent Plant
Lipstick Echeveria – Echeveria Agavoides
Image: @world_of_aqb

It’s no secret where this Echeveria got its name. In bright, direct light, it reveals its true colors – a luscious scarlet rim around the edge of the green leaves. Between that and the already glossy leaves, this plant is ready for a night out on the town.

That glossy complexion is caused by the succulent’s particularly thick “cuticle,” which is a protective waxy coating on the leaves. Practically, it’s great for retaining moisture. Aesthetically, it can make a superb companion piece to other types of succulents with dark green colors.

4. Mexican Hens and Chicks, Echeveria Lola

Mexican Hens & Chicks Echeveria Lola Succulent Plant
Mexican Hens & Chicks – Echeveria Lola
Image: @succulent_treasure_chest

This elegant Echeveria Lola is responsible for bringing many succulent enthusiasts into the fold. The delicate aquamarine color, fine patina, and curvaceous leaves all combine to equal a champion succulent.

This Echeveria, like all others, earned its common name of “hens and chicks” because of its unique method of self-propagation. A healthy plant will grow a multitude of baby plantlets around its bottom edge, which resemble chicks peeking out from under a mother hen.

5. Echeveria ‘Black Prince’

Black Prince Echeveria Hybrid Succulent Plant
Black Prince – Echeveria Hybrid
Image: @mickssucculents

The Black Prince succulent is on level two of succulent obsession. It’s not the first succulent you will purchase, but once you get that first jade plant, this isn’t far behind.

And who can blame you? A happy, healthy Black Prince has a lustrous black hue that is unmatched in the plant kingdom. It also has beautiful ad thick leaves. Be careful, though – without lots and lots of bright light. This Echeveria will quickly lose its dark coloring and revert to a very plain shade of green.

6. Echeveria ‘Perle von Nurnberg’

Perle Von Nurnburg Echeveria Hybrid Succulent Plant
Perle von Nurnberg – Echeveria Hybrid
Image: @de_little_jungle

The Perle von Nurnberg is the crown jewel of any succulent collection. The majestic purple coloring and broad, inviting leaves can’t be matched by any other plant.

Surprisingly, it’s not even a particularly difficult succulent to care for, nor is it scarce. You’re likely to find one in any garden center or home improvement store (although they’ll need some R&R before they can reach their full potential).

7. The Lipstick Echeveria ‘Echeveria Agavoides’

Lipstick Echeveria Agavoides Succulent Plant
Lipstick Echeveria – Echeveria Agavoides
Image: @world_of_aqb

It’s no secret where this Echeveria got its name. In bright, direct light, it reveals its true colors – a luscious scarlet rim around the edge of the green leaves. Between that and the already glossy leaves, this plant is ready for a night out on the town.

That glossy complexion is caused by the succulent’s particularly thick “cuticle,” which is a protective waxy coating on the leaves. Practically, it’s great for retaining moisture. Aesthetically, it can make an excellent companion piece to other types of succulents with dark green colors.

8. Aeonium ‘Kiwi’

Kiwi Aeonium Succulent Plant
Kiwi Aeonium – Aeonium Kiwi
Image: @justbeingcon

The vibrant colors of the Aeonium Kiwi make it hugely popular. Pink, white, and green in one delightfully vibrant package. This succulent grows best as an outdoor shrub, though you can care for it inside if you provide the required conditions. It prefers warm temperatures but can tolerate a few chilly nights if temperatures don’t get below freezing.

Gigantic Succulents

Notorious for dominating scenic backdrops in landscape portraits, these popular succulent species are too big to miss out on this popularity list.

1. Adansonia digitata (The African Baobab)

It is enormous, overbearing, and acknowledged as the ‘Defining icon of African bushland.’ It has roots spreading from North East to West Africa, Oman, and Yemen in the Arabian Peninsula, right through to the Penang district of Malaysia. Meet the largest succulent plant in the world, the Adansonia digitata. 

Looking like an upside-down tree, this succulent has thick, wide branches that spread out of the treetop like angry roots. Also known as the African Baobab and The Tree of Life, this highly respected succulent can tower over geographical panoramas, extending between 5 to 30 meters (16 to 98 ft) tall.

16 Most popular succulent species in the world
African Baobab @photography_flyer

The enormous diameter of the tree trunk can reach between 7 and 14 meters (23 to 46 ft). The African Baobab has a shiny, smooth trunk that can store up to 120,000 liters of water, and sometimes the roots get to grow taller than the tree itself.

Be sure to check out our article “3 Popular Large Succulents You Don’t Have” to see other succulents you probably never heard of before.

2. Carnegiea gigantea – Saguaro Cactus

The next time you enjoy a Western cowboy or Mexican movie with scenes of wild desert, look out for the night guard of the succulent world, the Carnegiea gigantean or Saguaro Cactus. With the ability to grow to over 40 feet (12.2 meters) tall, the Saguaro Cactus has a thick central stem with branches sprouting out to look like stiff arms of a tube man.

16 Most popular succulent species in the world
Saguaro Cactus @the_pappening

An original resident of the Sonoran Desert, the Saguaro Cactus can live past 150 years old. During the nighttime only, this cactus blooms as the official wildflower of Arizona. These white flowers have a lingering scent of over-ripe melons.

Around June, the Saguaro cactus produces a crimson-colored, edible fruit that grows from the crown of the arms and stem.

Stranger Things

From odd shapes to intrinsic patterns, bright hues, and wild motifs, these low maintenance popular succulent species will surely catch your curiosity, wherever they reside.

1. Pachyphytum oviferum – Moonstones

They may look like colorful sea rocks, but this succulent is alive and kicking! The scientific name Pachyphytum oviferum means ‘thick plant bearing eggs’ and refers to the chubby, pebble-like leaves. They are also known as the Sugar Almond Plant or Moonstones. This succulent can easily remain unnoticed at the border of a rock garden, blending quietly with the surrounding plants.

16 Most popular succulent species in the world
Moonstones @uksucculentgarden

This succulent has 1 cm thick stems that can grow to 20 cm long and hold about 15 leaves. The rounded leaves tend to be bluish-green or bluish-purple, forming a loose rosette at the tips of the stems. It produces an inflorescence that bears ruby, bell-shaped flowers.

2. Hildewintera colademononis – Monkey’s Tail

From a distance, this succulent may look like the shredded remains of a very large fur coat swinging precariously in the wind. It is hairy, white, and green in color and funny looking. 

This succulent has mind-boggling names like Hildewintera colademononis, Cleistocactus colademononis, and Winterocereus colademononis. Quite a mouthful, huh? Its description gave it a more natural name to remember – Monkey’s Tail.

16 Most popular succulent species in the world
Monkey’s Tail @grow.grace12

This epilithic plant is originally from Bolivia. It starts off growing as upright stumps with circular hairy stems that trail off the root of the plant as it gets older. When you get a closer look, you discover light green stems that are completely covered in soft white spines. These spines are what cause the look of a ‘monkey’s tail.’

With the right conditions, Monkey’s Tail produces large bright red flowers that are a captivating contrast to the white appendage.

3. Jelly Bean Plant, Sedum Rubrotinctum

These cute little beans don’t taste nearly as good as authentic Jelly Beans, but they’re not poisonous if you want to test that. They do look way better than the real thing, though. With lots of suns, the Jelly Beans on this plant turn into a gorgeous translucent rainbow of red, pink, and yellow.

Jelly Bean Plant Sedum Rubrinctum Succulent Plant
Jelly Bean Plant – Sedum Rubrinctum
Image: @succulentleaf_uk

We recently shared this beautiful Jelly Bean Plant on our Instagram and felt the love. Over 25k likes! If you are one of them that showed the love, we were asked countlessly where to buy them. This one we featured was variegated and pretty rare.

The leaves of this little Sedum are incredibly fragile. They fall off at the slightest touch. Don’t be upset – leave them in the pot, and they’ll start to grow their own baby Jelly Bean Plant!

4. Ladyfinger Cactus ‘Mamilliaria Elongata’

Ladyfinger Cactus Mamilliaria Succulent Plant
Ladyfinger Cactus – Mamilliaria Elongata
Image: @moonshineana

The Ladyfinger Cactus is one of the most common species of household cactus for one reason: nothing could be easier to care for and propagate.

This fuzzy-looking succulent creates new cactus buds all the time. Once they’ve grown a little, they can be popped off and placed in dirt. While it takes a little while for the roots to grow, you are assured many new cacti all from the original mother plant.

Be aware that this plant likes its sunlight – if it doesn’t have bright light, it will quickly grow tall and leggy. If that happens, you can just cut off the top part that has begun to stretch. After the wound heals it will, grow new baby cacti at that spot. It’s a win-win!

5. Tiger Tooth Aloe, Aloe Juvenna

Tiger Tooth Aloe Juevenna Succulent Plant
Tiger Tooth Aloe – Aloe Juvenna
Image: @succycrazy

This example of Aloe puts that old Aloe vera to shame. The colors of the two plants are almost identical, but the shape of the tiger tooth becomes more and more pleasing as it grows larger.

The tiger tooth aloe is characterized by overlapping segments of two opposite leaves adorned with its namesake – large spikes that resemble the tiger’s teeth! Don’t worry.

6. The Split Rock Succulent ‘Pleiospilos Nelii’

Split Rock Pleiospilos Nelii Succulent Plant
Split Rock – Pleiospilos Nelii
Image: @anxiousgarden

Often confused with Lithops, the Split Rock is a different, yet similar, succulent. Both are in the Mesemb family, which is known for plants that look like rocks instead of plants.

Plants in this family tend to sit very low to the ground. Often, part or all of their thick leaves are buried in the surrounding dirt. Several species have transparent window-like leaves that allow light to penetrate even when the plant is buried.

Split Rocks are susceptible to being overwatered. They are watered much less frequently than other types of succulents, so they don’t do well in mixed-composition pots.

7. The Key Lime Pie Succulent ‘Adromischus Cristatus’

Adromischus Cristatus Succulent Plant
Key Lime Pie – Adromishus Cristatus
Image: @plants_revamped

Another delectable-looking succulent, Key Lime Pie is an easy-going plant. The succulent has sparkling green leaves. It doesn’t need too much light, it’s not overly sensitive to water, and it doesn’t mind crowding. It can make a great indoor plant that doesn’t require valuable window real estate.

Don’t tell anyone, but it looks more like a pierogi than a key lime pie.

Bulbous Trunked Succulents

Not all popular succulent species store water in their leaves. Some store water in their stems, trunks, and roots.

The One And Only: Beaucarnea recurvata – Ponytail Palm

This Mexican native is a definite showstopper at an entrance hall or as table décor because of its playful appearance. It has a rounded, swollen trunk that gives way to a thin stem, ending in slender, long, hair-like leaves that resemble a ponytail, hence the name Ponytail Palm. Scientifically known as Beaucarnea recurvata, this succulent also goes by Bottle Plant and Elephant Foot.

Ponytail Palm’s proficiency in storing water in its trunk makes this succulent a passionate sun worshiper. It grows up to 30 feet (9.14 meters) in the right conditions. Botanists have earmarked some Ponytail Palm in Mexico that are over 350 years old.

To shape the Ponytail Palm, you could control its growth by reducing the direct light it gets. Avoid cutting or trimming the ponytail, as the edges of the leaves will turn brown and dry up.

Discover more Mexican-native succulents in “The 5 Most Popular Succulents from Mexico”

Trailing Succulents

Whether hanging off a decorative chandelier or inconspicuous hook off the ceiling of your terrace, these dangling beauties will rope you in with their characteristics.

1. The Burros Tail Succulent

Indigenous to Southern Mexico and Honduras. The Sedum morganianum has a long-braided tail of thick fleshy leaves that cascade downward in an overlapping pattern. This distinctive look has led to the various names of this succulent, including Horse’s Tail, Lamb’s Tail, and Burro’s Tail, after the Spanish word for donkey. This stem-heavy succulent can grow up to 24 inches long.

16 Most popular succulent species in the world
Burro’s tail @amandaraewright

The leaves of the Burro’s Tail look like they have been dusted over with powder, depending on the sun’s angle. They can appear dark green, greenish-grey, or even sapphire blue. This chalk-like substance called epicuticular wax protects the plant from the sun and helps retain moisture.

The Burro’s Tail is extremely sensitive to touch. The leaves will fall off with just the slightest brush while repotting leaves you with more soil and stem than an actual plant.


2. The string of Pearls ‘Senecio Rowleyanus’

String of Pearls Senecio Rowleyanus Succulent Plant
String of Pearls – Senecio Rowleyanus
Image: @urbanplantoasis

Is this succulent plant or a piece of jewelry?

That’s for you to decide, but don’t be surprised if you see these green guys dangling from a neck or some earrings shortly. They’re becoming incredibly popular as decorations for minimalist themes. It’s not a far jump to being an ornament for humans.

These pearls, unlike natural ones, don’t do well in water. Be really careful with how often

Final Words

Now that you know 16 popular succulent species, don’t be afraid to spot one at your local Farmers Market or online store. 

Which popular succulent species would you say, caught your attention overall? Let us know in the comments below!

Thank you for reading! If you’d like this read, you’ll love our total in-depth ebooks! With so many of our succulent lovers asking for more, we listened and can’t wait to share it with you here! With our very detailed ebooks, you’ll get more information than these short articles. Some ebooks are 30+ pages, perfect for a weekend read. 

Be sure to share this post with your succulent loving friends!

Happy Planting!


Richard Miller

Salute everyone. It's Richard, the author of this Succulent & Xeriscaping blog. I am a traveler and a nature lover looking for a connection with the wild green. In my journey, I found a love for succulents and xeriscaping. What attracts me is the long-lasting & unique beauty of every plant I have the chance to see with my own eyes. Welcome to my little blog and let's enjoy a good time together!

Contact me: richard.succulentcity@gmail.com

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