8 Most Popular Succulents from Africa

8 Popular Succulents from Africa

Let’s be honest, some plants need more care than children or pets! Maybe you just don’t have the time, patience, or green thumb to deal with a fussy plant but at the same time, you want to avoid the disapproving look from ‘mother’ when she visits and every plant has died.

Or perhaps, allergies prevent you from having fresh daisies and roses close to you, but you still want the opportunity to be a plant parent.

Well, don’t stop ‘be-leaf-ing’!

There’s a fresh fad that has hit the streets and its taking ‘succers’ by storm.

Succulents are the way and they are here to stay!

Available and affordable, succulent has set the trend as decorating staples at events, restaurants, office focal points, outdoor landscaping and even walking down the aisle on a bridal bouquet.

Here is your chance to get inspired and keep that plant alive with this list of 8 of the most popular African succulents.

Not only are these African succulents gorgeous to look at, but you won’t pull your hair out keeping them alive. Here we go!

8 popular African succulents
let’s learn about some African succulents @holistichabits

Othonna Capensis—Ruby Necklace

This distant member of the sunflower family has its roots in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. It also goes by the name “Ruby Necklace” or “Little Pickles” and is known locally as “Bobbejaankool”.

Talk about nicknames!

The Ruby Necklace, not to be mistaken by jewelry, This succulent has bean-like foliage that extends from vibrant, ruby-red stems. The succulent bean-like leaves vary in color from green to purple, depending on how much sunlight it is exposed to. The plant produces small, daisy-like flowers that may either be purple, white, or yellow, and it blooms all year round.

The Ruby Necklace’s popularity, amongst other succulents, has grown because of the adaptability of its vines for trailing and spilling. You can find it trending, like a delicious bunch of grapes, as it hangs from a ‘fruit and veg bowl’ when planted with rosette type succulents. It has also become a main feature of bridal bouquets. No matter the occasion, the Othonna Capensis‘ flexibly adjusts to fit its new home marvelously.

See 7 Fantastic Succulent Bouquets for some inspiration!

This fashionable plant not only looks attractive but is also fairly easy to maintain. It requires very little water, and only when the soil completely dries out. The flowers of the Ruby Necklace are a great attraction for pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, making it prominent as an environmental protector. You can even match your Ruby Necklace with this ruby colored pot! Maybe we should get this one for the team too, so many planters are too cute!

8 popular African succulents
radiant ruby necklace @withloveandkare

Crassula Ovata—The Jade Plant

When talking about popular succulents, no other plant is as world-renowned as the Mozambican native Jade Plant. From China to New York, this beauty can be found on the window sills of living rooms of different sizes, crossing cultures, and language barriers as a symbol of good luck. This legendary plant also goes by the names Lucky Plant, Money Plant, Silver Dollar, Money Tree, and Friendship Tree.

Apart from Mozambique, the Jade Plant still features prominently in Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces of South Africa. Historians have mentioned that the Khoi and other native tribes grated and cooked the roots of this succulent, as a delicacy to be eaten with thick milk. It was also known for its medicinal value to treat nausea and diarrhea.

The scientific name Crassula Ovata perfectly describes this succulent. Crassula, which means fat or thick, denotes the fleshy nature of the species while Ovata means egg-shaped, which is a correct representation of the shape of the leaves.

The Jade Plant has many characteristics of a Bonsai tree, with a thick trunk and wide, olive-green leaves. It prospers indoors and will retain water well, producing small white or pink flowers in the right conditions.

This succulent’s association with friendship, good luck, and financial success, make it one of the most admired, no-brainer gifts for any occasion—like in this fun planter, we gifted this to one of our team members birthday’s recently too!

Learn some further tips on taking care of the Jade plant with our article here!

8 popular African succulents
jaw dropping jade @homebrewedo2

Euphorbia Milii—Crown of Thorns Plant

Hailing from the island of Madagascar on the Indian Ocean, the Euphorbia Milli behaves like the ‘femme fetale’ of the succulent world. Not only does this plant have striking, clustered flowers growing on evergreen shrubbery, but it also has long, sharp thorns all around its stems.  The yellow, white, or pink flowers grow in red bracts that resemble petals and in tropical locations, the plant flowers all year round. This pretty little thing is, however, highly poisonous!

This drought-resistant succulent, which you can buy here, is a major sun worshiper; the more exposure to the sun it gets, the more intense and longer the flowering period is. These colorful outdoor pots would look great with this pretty plant! On the contrary to its beauty, the succulent plant produces a poisonous sap that can cause irritation when it comes to contact with skin and eyes. This succulent also causes severe stomach aches, vomiting, and inflammation of the throat and mouth if ingested. If you have toddlers or curious pets, this is definitely a plant to keep at a distance.

That being said, the Crown of Thorns is legendary for being a magnificent natural barrier when planted as a low hedge, to keep out vermin and unwanted rodents. So if you are looking for a Game of Thrones challenge, how about planting a Crown of Thorns?

For even more information on the Crown of Thorns Plant, head on over to this article!

8 popular African succulents
captivating crown of thorns @bluerainier_raining

Zebra Haworthia—The Zebra Plant

How worthy is the Zebra Haworthia? Well worth it!

This eye-catching African succulent stays true to its name, the Zebra Plant. This plant can be seen bearing chunky, dark green leaves with horizontal white stripes, giving the resemblance of a zebra pattern.

Indigenous to South Africa, the Zebra Plant can go for long periods without water as the plant stores water in its thick leaves and stem. It forms in a rosette of leaves that grow between 4” and 8” tall. When it blooms, the succulent produces tubular white or pink flowers that develop from a very thin stem, called an inflorescence.

The succulent Plant has an ingrained stress detector; the plant ‘gets stressed’ and the leaves change color. Its leaves turn red after more than 6 hours of direct sunshine. You can tell if your succulent has sunburn as it will have brown marks on the surface of the leaf facing the sun. If the leaves start to turn yellow or transparent, your plant may be drowning. How unique is that? Give your zebra some shade with this succulent shade netting.

Brush up on your Zebra Plant knowledge and care tips with our article here.

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8 popular African succulents
spotZ and stripeZ on the Zebra plant @ijustwetmyplantss

Aloe Aristata—The Torch Plant

Yeah, the good old Aloe.

Aristaloe Aristata is an atypical species that is also referred to as The Torch Plant, Lace Aloe, or Guinea-Fowl Aloe. Historically, it covered a wide span of South Africa, stretching from the Northern and Eastern Cape provinces, through Lesotho, to the borders of KwaZulu-Natal province. Highly adaptable to a variety of temperatures, the Torch Plant can flourish in sandy, dry regions, cold mountain slopes, high grasslands, and forested valleys.

This African succulent, takes the shape of a perfectly formed rosette, with thick, lance-shaped leaves. The fleshy leaves are outlined with white, saw-like teeth around the edges and have a soft white spine. White bumps can be seen scattered on the fleshy leaves, giving the plant a decorative appeal.

The evergreen plant, that would look amazing in this pot, has tubular orange flowers that grow from a bloom stalk that can reach heights of 20” (50 cm). The nectar-loaded flowers are irresistible to pollinators and tend to easily attract bees, wasps, and birds.

When planted in the ground, the Torch Plant produces several offsets around its base that are easy to propagate. The compactness of the rosettes makes this succulent popular as a potted plant, as well as, absolutely adorable in a succulent garden.

Does the Torch Plant sound like a great addition to your home, read up on this article to learn further care tips!

8 popular African succulents
totally torch @gwyn.blath

Kalanchoe Tomentosa—The Panda Plant

The Kalanchoe Tomentosa is commonly known as the Panda Plant, Chocolate Soldier, Pussy Ears, or Plush Plant and it originates from Madagascar. The succulent has oval-shaped leaves that resemble the ears of a rabbit or a cat, thus the name Pussy Ears.

The leaves are usually greyish-green in color and are covered all over in tiny hair-like structures that give the leaves a furry look and feel, click here to buy your own from Amazon! Brown freckles decorate the edges of the leaves and margins while the thick stem enables the plant to grow up to approximately 1.5 ft. tall!

This hairy house plant requires long intervals between watering. It grows well at room temperature with medium to bright lighting. There have been rare sightings of small, yellow-green flowers sprouting on the tips of branches, but it’s possible! For a super cute planter for the Panda Plant, we think you’ll enjoy this one, or maybe your friend will appreciate it as a gift! Do you know someone who likes pandas?

This African succulent has earned its’ popularity as event decor, must-have when creating stunning floral arrangements for guest tables.

A word of caution though; if you are interested in being a Panda Plant parent, they ARE known to be toxic to cats and dogs.

For additional tips on taking care of the Panda Plant, head over to this article.

8 popular African succulents
proud panda plant @succulustbalcony

Sansevieria Trifasciata—The Snake Plant

The Sansevieria trifasciata is one of the most unique species of plants that tracks its heritage between tropical West Africa, Nigeria, and the Congo. This wild-looking plant also goes by the alias The Snake Plant or Mother-in-law’s Tongue mainly due to the shape of its sharp leaf margins. Either way, it makes you a little bit cautious but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

The slithering Snake Plant has vertical wide thick leaves growing from a rosette and reaching to the sky like flames of a roaring campfire. The leaves change color ranging between dark green, light green, white, and cream, and in optimal conditions, these plants can easily reach a height of up to 2 meters.

This tenacious African succulent can tolerate neglect, abuse, and most unsuitable growing conditions. It is content when placed in direct sunlight and it can go for more than 6 weeks without water. In fact, the more you turn your back on them, the better they do!

In spite of its crazy appearance, this succulent’s popularity has risen, as more and more people discover the health benefits associated with this plant. NASA was trying to find a way to purify the air in space stations and they approved the Snake Plant as an outstanding air purifier.  Studies confirmed that the succulent removes toxins, such as formaldehyde found in cleaning products, tissues as well as personal care products. Place this plant in the bathroom and watch it thrive in the steam and low light, all the while, cleaning the air! Check out our preferred super cool planter that’ll look great in any bedroom or bathroom.

Unlike other plants, this succulent continues converting carbon dioxide into oxygen all through the night.  This special characteristic can allow you to live with a couple of Snake Plants, in a completely air sealed room with no air flow, for a significant amount of time. It is truly a plant you can count on!

On the popularity poll, the Snake Plant blows it out of the water. Aesthetically pleasing, with very little maintenance required and the ability to purify the air, these succulents from Africa have been recommended in large numbers to fill up factories, schools, offices, and homes.

Learn everything else there is know about the Snake Plant in our article here!

8 popular African succulents
indoor snake plants @house_plant_community

There you have it, 8 African succulents that are sure to escalate your patio, garden, home, or office from drab to fab!

Excited to purchase your first succulent? We have great news! We just partnered with Amazon… And to celebrate, they’re offering a FREE 30-day trial of their Amazon Prime Membership! Get free 2-day shipping on all your new succulent gear! Click this link to learn more and sign up today. We have 2 planters and plus some soil for our new office succulents coming in, we can’t wait!

Want to learn more about the wonderful world of succulents? Check out our articles on 8 Rare Succulents Worth Exploring or the ever-informative Why is My Succulent Rotting?

If you liked this read you’re going to love our full in-depth ebooks! With so many of our succulent lovers in the world 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.

Happy planting, my friends!

The 5 Most Popular Succulents From Mexico

5 Most Popular Succulents From Mexico

Lots of things we love originated in Mexico—tacos, chocolate, popcorn, and some of the most beautiful succulents out there! You can thank Mexico for great chocolate and popular succulents like the burro’s tail, ponytail palms, and the adorable bunny ears cactus. What a country!

Mexico has the perfect, warm climate for succulents, so they really thrive there. You’ll see all of these popular succulents from Mexico and many more if you head down there on vacation—it’s pretty much a succulent lover’s paradise!

We apologize in advance if this post gives you the travel bug and makes you want to see all these gorgeous Mexican succulents in their native habitat!

5 Most Popular Succulents from Mexico
5 Most Popular Succulents from Mexico @off.the.clock.cookies

Burro’s Tail—Sedum Morganianum

We were surprised to learn that the burro’s tail, one of our absolute favorite Mexican succulents, is native to southern Mexico! In 1935, a botanist from San Francisco, named Eric Walther, came across the burro’s tail at a nursery in Veracruz, Mexico. He was the first to bring it back to the States and describe it in detail. He was also responsible for naming it—he called it Sedum morganianum after one of his friends, Dr. Morgan.

The burro’s tail is one of our favorite Mexican succulents because it’s so gorgeous! It has long, pale green stems that spill out over the sides of planters. For that reason, it looks especially good in hanging planters, like this one
This succulent got the nicknames burro’s tail and donkey’s tail because people say its long, trailing stems look like animal tails. We don’t really see the resemblance! We think this Mexican succulent is much prettier than a bunch of hairy tails and just what your succulent collection is missing!

Take a more in-depth look at the Burro’s Tail with our article, here!

5 Most Popular Succulents From Mexico
Burro’s Tail @teammaeri

Ladyfinger Cactus—Mammillaria Elongata

The ladyfinger cactus has long, cylindrical stems that can grow to be up to 6 inches tall. The stems kind of look like fingers and are around the same size as them, so that’s how this cactus got the unique name ladyfinger. It’s also sometimes called the gold lace cactus because it has golden-yellow spines and produces bright yellow flowers in the spring.

This succulent is native to central Mexico and loves warm climates! It does really well outdoors if you plant it in full sun in a container, like this one, or in the ground. It doesn’t need much watering or maintenance because it has tubercles, which are small round nodules on the stem of the cactus. They expand to allow for increased water storage, so your succulent will only need a drink every once in a while.

A low-maintenance cactus that’s as pretty as it is practical? Sign us up!

We also have an article dedicated to the Mammillaria Elongata cactus, check it out here! You’ll learn about its additional nickname!

5 Most Popular Succulents From Mexico
Ladyfinger Cactus @teammaeri

Ponytail Palm—Beaucarnea Recurvata

Ponytail palms are so unique! We definitely think they need to be talked about in the succulent community more often. They’re a type of succulent that can grow to be up to 30 feet tall. But don’t worry—you can still grow them indoors! Ponytail palms are super slow growers, and if you keep them inside, they usually don’t get to be more than a few feet tall.

Despite their name, these Mexican succulents aren’t actually trees—they’re just succulents with super thick, woody stems. The woody stems and long, curly green leaves do kind of make them look like palm trees, though, which is probably how they got their cute tropical name! They’d look adorable in a bright tropical planter like this one, too.

This succulent is native to semi-desert areas of southeastern Mexico, so it loves bright sunlight and warm temperatures. It’s a hardy little plant, though, so you won’t kill it by bringing it inside into lower light conditions. Just make sure you keep it near the brightest window in your home so that it can soak up as much sun as possible!

The Ponytail Palm makes an awesome indoor succulent for homes and offices that don’t receive optimal sunlight. 

5 Most Popular Succulents From Mexico
Ponytail Palm @calabresegreenhouse

Blue Agave—Agave Tequilana

Did you know that this variety of agave is used to make tequila? It’s native to Jalisco, Mexico and it’s the only variety used to make Mexico’s most popular drink. Mezcal, another popular Mexican drink known for its smoky flavor, can be made from over 30 different varieties of agave. But not tequila! Grab a bottle of agave-made margarita mix, you won’t regret it! (We’ve tried this on Cinco de Mayo this year, it was fantastic!)

Besides being one of the tastiest plants on the planet, it’s also one of the prettiest. It has gorgeous bluish-green leaves that are arranged into a large, open rosette. It can get to be pretty large—it’s not unusual to see a blue agave that’s five feet tall and wide. When it gets to be that size, it has a dramatic, striking look that will be the highlight of any garden!

Agave makes beautiful additions to outdoor gardens, as you can see in the below picture! Check out what succulents will complement your Agave in your garden with our article 5 Best Outdoor Succulents!

5 Most Popular Succulents From Mexico
Blue Agave @kobata_growers

Bunny Ears Cactus—Opuntia Microdasys

The bunny ears cactus is probably one of the most popular succulents out there! It’s taken the succulent world by storm because its leaves look just like bunny ears. It makes the most adorable little decoration for Easter, especially if you put it in this planter. It has a bunny on it to match your bunny cactus… how cute is that?!

We have Mexico to thank for the beautiful bunny ears cactus, specifically northern Mexico. Just like all the other succulents on this list, it needs lots of bright direct sunlight to stay healthy. Make sure to keep it near a window so its bunny ears don’t start to droop!

Learn more about the Super Cute Bunny Ears Cactus here.

ALSO READ:

5 Most Popular Succulents From Mexico
Bunny Tail Cactus @pinkandplants

Those are five of the most popular succulents from Mexico. Which one is your favorite? We have a serious soft spot for the bunny ears cactus and that adorable little planter. Let us know what your favorite Mexican succulent is down in the comments section!

Many of the above succulents and cacti appear in more articles from Succulent City. Give Succulent and Cacti Stores Near Me, Pachyphytum Oviferum — Moonstones Succulent, or The 7 Best Succulents for Wedding Arrangement a read today!

Before you go and read other articles, we want to let you know that this post is sponsored by Amazon Audible! They are offering all of our Succulent City community an exclusive offer of 2 FREE Ebooks when signing up for a free trial! You can sign up for a free trial here! You’ll be able to listen to your favorite book while taking care of your succulents!

Calling all succulents lovers— rookie or veteran! Succulent City has developed a line of 12 ebooks (see here), ranging on topics from indoor & outdoor succulents, essential tools, the best soil to use, and more! We even threw in a complimentary ebook to help get your succulent journey started you just have to insert your email on our front page for this. With our ebooks you’ll be a succulent guru in no time, have fun!

Thanks for reading, happy succulent planting!

3 Popular Large Succulents You Didn’t Have & Know About

3 Popular Large Succulents

When we think of succulents, we usually picture small, interesting looking plants perched atop colorful stones or diverse pots. They come in all hues, shapes and sizes, and some actually look like beautiful sea creatures that escaped the underwater wonder of the world otherwise known as Atlantis. Okay maybe not that extravagant but these mostly small, indoor succulent plants bring a sense of vibrancy wherever they are placed and can survive without much of a fuss!

However, have you ever thought of a gigantic, mammoth sized succulent?

How cool would it be to astonish your neighbors with a plant that as big as the tree on their front lawn? Or perhaps a succulent that looks like it belongs as a backdrop on the set of Lion King? (This would be so cool!)

We have narrowed it down to three stunning large succulents that are sure to catch the attention of everyone who sees them, and this is the good kind of attention. If you don’t like large succulents, stonecrops are your best bet!

3 Popular Large Succulents
3 Popular Large Succulents You Don’t Have @capetowncat23

—BIG—

Agave Ovatifolia – Whale’s Tongue

When looking for an outdoor statement plant, look no further than the Agave Ovatifolia or Whale’s Tongue. This striking perennial succulent is a native to the Nuevo León region in northeastern Mexico. The family name Agave comes from the Greek word ‘agavos’ which means ‘noble’. 

This wonderful architectural centerpiece can grow up to 5 feet (1.5 meters) tall and 6 feet (1.8 meters) wide. This evergreen large succulent shows off chunky, broad grey to powdery-blue, cupped leaves that grow in the compact form of a tightly packed rosette. The pointy leaves are adorned with dramatic teeth (thorns) on the outline of the leaves, and the thorns can grow up to 1-inch long. If you already have one of these beauties, measure it for us, and see how long they actually are!

After about ten years, the plant reaches maturity and will then be ready to bloom, but only once in its lifetime. Dense clusters of yellow-green flowers grow from a magnificent flowering spike that can get up to 14 feet (4 meters) tall. 

Love yellow flowers? Check out our article on Succulents with Yellow Flowers for some awe-worthy additions to your garden.

3 Popular Large Succulents
Agave Ovatifolia @katopin

This set-it-and-forget-it type of plant revels in areas with full sun to light shade and does not like to be disturbed. Like other Agave’s, it does not produce offsets but instead reproduces by means of seeds and bulbils. It prefers well-draining soils, and like other succulents, it is deathly allergic to overwatering. The Whale’s Tongue will produce an off-putting smell as soon as the root rot starts to set in. 

So if you sniff a funky smell around your garden, this might be the reason why. Learn more about root rot here if you’re interested!

A little bit of regular watering during the summer will have it growing bigger in no time, and it is advisable not to water it during the winter. This slow-growing plant is extremely cold hardy, can handle frost like a champ, tolerating temperatures of as low as 5C (41F). No need for any ridiculous plant covers like this right?

When starting off as seedlings or bulbils, experts recommend that you plant this large succulent in early summer and provide extra light during the winter to prevent the plant from stretching. Sometimes we recommend using grow lights if your geographical location is very dim during winter months, especially in Sweden. Here are the top 10 grow lights that succulent lovers use (Community Approved)!

There are some things to note about the Whale’s Tongue; the sharp thorns can get you and stick to your clothes and it is advised to place it somewhere with minimal foot traffic. Also, it does have an irritating sap that can be hazardous to children and pets. The theatrical Agave Ovatifolia looks spectacular in an eclectic patio container or as the focal point of a desert garden landscape.

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3 Popular Large Succulents
Whale’s Tongue @francesca_loves_

—BIGGER—

Aloidendron Dichotomum – The Quiver Tree

If you get the chance to visit the Karoo Desert National Botanical Gardens in South Africa, you will not miss seeing a bunch of tall trees that look like forks with broccoli at the top. This striking plant stands tall, overlooking the Northern Cape Richtersveld region in South Africa and at the border with Namibia. Allow me to introduce you to the regal Aloidendron Dichotomum or Quiver Tree— formerly known as Aloe Dichotoma.

This perennial succulent is related to the aloe and had its genus changed in 2013 to aloidendron which is a combination of aloe and dendron. The epithet ‘dichotomum’ points to the way the stem of the plant forks midway into two equal branches. It got the name ‘Quiver Tree’ from the indigenous Afrikaans people who call it ‘Kokerboom’ referring to how they would hollow out the tubular branches to make quivers for their arrows. 

There are three related species of this outstanding large succulent that all live in the same area and have been rated under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species:

  • VulnerableAloidendron Dichotomum – this is the tallest of the three. 
  • EndangeredAloidendron Ramassisimum – looks like a shrub.
  • Critically EndangeredAloidendron Pillansii – shortest one and has an inflorescence that hangs downwards from the lowest leaves. 
3 Popular Large Succulents
Aloidendron Dichotomum @targ.official

The numbers of these splendid creatures have dwindled because of climatic conditions, plant collectors, mining as well as goats and sheep eating seedlings as they are herded in close proximity to the large succulent. 

Check out these additional brag-worthy 8 Rare Succulents to add to your collection!

The Quiver tree has thick, dark green leaves that grow in the shape of a rosette at the tips of stumpy tree branches. The leaves are curved and taper gradually, giving the illusion of a crown, growing as high as 6 meters up in the air. The branches of the Quiver Tree are covered in a white powder that helps to reflect off the sun’s heat. The plant has three water reservoirs – the fleshy leaves, the swollen fibrous stem, and the roots. 

The Quiver Tree develops an inflorescence that grows in an upright manner at the top of the leaf rosettes. The plant bears racemes that grow to 150 mm long that later mature to produce up to 30 bright, yellow flowers at a time. The plant tends to bloom in late September. After blossoming, paper-like seeds burst open from spherical capsules and they are often pollinated by birds, bees, ants, and the wind. 

The Aloidendron Dichotomum can only grow from seeds and the best time to plant them is between March and April. Potting of seedlings can be done once they reach 30 – 50 mm in length or when they are about 3 years old. Their architectural shape and distinct look have made the Aloidendron Dichotomum a well sought after plant, especially in South African gardens and driveways. Large, potted Quiver Trees make gorgeous statement plants when placed at entrances, courtyards, and patios.

3 Popular Large Succulents
The Quiver Tree @a.cooper.adventure

—BIGGEST—

Adansonia Digitata

Hailed as the ‘Defining icon of African bushland’, the Adansonia digitata, or African Baobab, holds the right to be called the largest succulent plant in the world. Also known as ‘The Tree of life’, this mammoth beauty can grow between 5 to 30 meters (16 to 98 ft) tall with a trunk diameter growing between 7 and 14 meters (23 to 46 ft). The baobab’s growth rate is determined by rainfall and groundwater and has been known to store up to 120,000 liters of water in the trunk.

The scientific name Adansonia digitata is derived from the French explorer and botanist Michael Adanson, who studied the tree in 1749 in Senegal. Digitata refers to how the compound leaves of the plant (usually five to seven) are shaped like the digits on the hand. There are nine official species of the baobab tree, with 6 being natives of the island of Madagascar, 1 from Australia, and 2 in Africa and Arabia. The Adansonia digitata has its origins in North Eastern, Western, Central, and Southern Africa as well as Oman and Yemen in the Arabian Peninsula and the Penang district of Malaysia.

All baobab trees are deciduous, which means they annually shed their leaves during the dry seasons, remaining leafless for 9 months in a year. They look like a tree that has been planted upside down, with the thick, wide branches spreading out on top of the tree like roots that were meant to be in the ground. The African baobab has a shiny and smooth trunk and the roots can be taller than the tree itself.

With all this talk about these African- native succulents, check out our article on additional 8 Popular Succulents from Africa. You’ll be surprised how many of them are common household plants!

3 Popular Large Succulents
Adansonia Digitata @chubbyplantpeople

The Adansonia digitata produces flowers once a year at the beginning of the rainy season, and will bloom about four weeks later. The flowers are significantly huge, white and heavy, drooping down like a pendulum from long stalks attached to branches. Larger, older baobabs can grow hundreds of flowers, but the flowers only bloom for one night before they rot and die. The flowers have 5 leathery petals with hair-like structures on the inside. After blooming, the flowers tend to have a putrid smell.

The African Baobab gives off fruits that are shaped like an oblong guard and hang down like the flowers, giving the tree the local name ‘dead-rat-tree’. The fruits have a velvety shell and can weigh up to 1.5 kg. Mostly eaten in Africa, the fruit has a tart, acidic, citrus flavor, and is crammed with healthy nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium, carbohydrates and phosphorus. Monkeys find the fruit hard to resist, giving the succulent its other name, ‘monkey-bread-tree’. In Angola, the fruit is boiled, dried then used as a base for an ice cream called gelado de múcua

Fruits, yes! Some succulents are edible believe it or not. Check out which succulents to add to your next grocery list in our article here!

Baobabs are ninja plants because they can tolerate the heat, flourish on poor soil and survive drought. They prefer well-draining soil, but potted plants can do well in cactus soil mix. You can order seeds, cuttings, or even young plants online and give your neighbors something to really talk about. If you really want to get into it, literally, you can visit the Big Baobab Bar in South Africa and have a drink inside a 6000-year-old Adansonia digitata!

3 Popular Large Succulents
Adansonia Digitata @diarmuidgavin

There you have it— the big, bigger, and biggest of the succulent world! The greatest thing about our modern tech world is that you can find seeds and young plants of all three succulents online. So if you were thinking of changing things up a little in your garden, why not try something big!

This post is sponsored by Amazon Audible! They are offering all of our Succulent City community an exclusive offer of 2 FREE Ebooks when signing up for a free trial! You can sign up for a free trial here!

Expand you succulent- knowledge even more! Check out some additional articles from Succulent City like How Long Do Succulents Live, How to Propagate your Succulents Successfully, or 9 Rare Cacti that are Hard to Find.

Do you own any of these amazing, large succulents? We want to see! Share your photos in our exclusive Facebook Group, Succulent City Plant Lounge, today!

Enjoyed learning about 3 Popular Large Succulents You Don’t Have? If so, you’ll really enjoy the ebook about Rare Succulents You Wish You Knew About. With this ebook, you’ll find yourself more detailed answers that’ll help your succulent grow even better! With thousands of succulent lovers enjoying our ebooks, you don’t want to miss out on what works the best to grow your succulents.

Happy planting! ?

16 Most Popular Succulents Species In The World-Different Kinds

16 Most popular succulent species in the world

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 little groups that would 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.

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

With similar characteristics to 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.

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

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.

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 surface of the leaf facing the sun indicate sunburn, and if the leaves start to look transparent or yellow, it is getting too much water.

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

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

Tracking 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.

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.

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

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 all over the world. This unusual succulent has elongated, pointed, chunky leaves with serrated leaf margins that can grow between 12 – 19 inches (30-50 cm) in length.

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.

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

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

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. Being epiphytes, they 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. There are also other colloquial names; 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.

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.

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

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 an enchanting 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. 

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.

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

Edible Succulents

Ever thought of serving up 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.

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.

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

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

2. Portulaca oleracea – Purslane

When looking for a vegetable that you could 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) are all edible, and this succulent has been considered a nutritional powerhouse in the medical and culinary world. 

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.

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

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 at first glance. It is sure to turn heads and attract comments as ground cover, perimeter walls, or terrariums. 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.

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.

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

2. Sempervivum – Hens and Chicks

Have you heard of the succulent that thrives perfectly 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.

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 amazing succulent with our piece “How to Grow Hens & Chicks Succulents“.

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

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 – African Baobab

It is huge, domineering, 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.

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.

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

2. Carnegiea gigantean – Saguaro Cactus

The next time you are enjoying 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 main stem with branches sprouting out to look like stiff arms of a tube man.

An original resident of the Sonoran Desert, the Saguaro Cactus can live past 150 years old. During the nighttime only, this cactus blooms 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.

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

Stranger Things

From odd shapes to intrinsic patterns, bright hues, and wild motifs, these low maintenance popular succulent species are sure to 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. 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.

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, and the leaves form a loose rosette at the tips of the stems. It produces an inflorescence that bears ruby, bell-shaped flowers.

16 Most popular succulent species in the world
Moonstones @uksucculentgarden

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 is a succulent with mind-boggling names like Hildewintera colademononis, Cleistocactus colademononis, and Winterocereus colademononis. Quite a mouthful, huh? Thank goodness its description gave it a more natural name to remember – Monkey’s Tail.

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.

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

Bulbous Trunked Succulents

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

1. Beaucarnea recurvata – Ponytail Palm

This Mexican native is a definite showstopper at an entrance hall or as table décor all because of the playful way it looks. It has a globular, swollen trunk that gives way to a thin stem, ending in slender, long, hair-like leaves that make it 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 to store 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’s in Mexico that are over 350 years old.

To shape the Ponytail Palm, you could control its growth by reducing the amount of direct light it gets. Try to 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. Burro’s tail

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.

The leaves of the Burro’s Tail look like they have been dusted over with powder, and depending on the angle of the sun. 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 will leave you with more soil and stem than an actual plant.

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

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’re going to love our full 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. 

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Happy Planting! 🌵

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