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.


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!

Elephant Bush Succulent- Portulacaria Afra

Elephant Bush - Portulacaria Afra

Elephant Bush is opulent and larger than life. Also known as the Portulacaria Afra, this is a succulent that grows into a bush. It is a part of the Didiereaceae family. Its unique feature is in its ability to grow to amazing heights. It has stems that appear woody in nature with small leaves all along with them. These stems are also bendy, making these plants ideal for using in hanging baskets.

Lots of space is needed for the portulacaria afra succulent, especially if you want it to achieve its maximum growth. It can grow up to 12ft tall. Wondering how this succulent got the name Elephant Bush? It had little to do with its ability to reach such great heights. In its native South Africa, this plant’s leaves have been food for elephants. In the wild, it can exceed the height of 12ft, with some being recorded as reaching even 20ft. It is found in places that are rocky and dry, on slopes.

Not to worry, when growing it indoors, it only grows a few feet tall. It is also non-toxic to people and animals. Since it is flexible in look and feel, being able to fit a hanging basket, it is an ideal ornamental plant.

Elephant Bush - Portulacaria Afra
One of The Most Famous Indoor Succulent @dwarfjadebonsai

Features of The Elephant Bush

The main features of the Elephant Bush are the stems and the leaves. The stems are dark brown in color, with the leaves being small and green.

In the wild, this plant blooms with flowers in clusters. These are normally a range of colors, including white, purple and pink. However, when cultivated, it is exceptionally rare for Elephant Bush to flower. The only way to achieve this result is to ensure that the conditions are exactly the same as its native habitat.

Elephant Bush plants are lovers of light, requiring some extra thought if they are to be kept indoors. They need to be kept close to the windows so that they can benefit from both light and warmth. This is best achieved with a south-facing window where it can get at least six hours of light each day.

When keeping this plant, it is advised that you leave it in one location. It can get damaged when moving from indoors to outdoors. This is because of exposure to direct sunlight. When it is not used to this exposure, the leaves can quickly burn outdoors. This plant is able to survive in cold temperatures since it is tolerant to frost. However, in the event of snow, you may want to move your plant indoors.

Make sure you also check out “Why Succulents Grow Tall and What to Do About it” for more info on seeing why certain succulents grow this way.

Elephant Bush - Portulacaria Afra
Characteristics of The Elephant Bush @dwarfjadebonsai

Propagating Your Elephant Bush Succulents

To grow your own Elephant Bush, propagation can give excellent results. Starting out in the spring or early summer will ensure excellent results.

All you need to do is plant a cutting that has been dried out and calloused. The soil should be moist. Once planted, in a few weeks, a new Elephant Bush will have taken root and the leaves bloom.

The weather where you are propagating will influence how you water your plant. If the area is humid, then use minimal water. If the plant is not exposed to constant and consistent sunlight, then you can use less water as well. Also, be aware of rain so that if it does rain while you are propagating, you resist watering your plant as this could affect the roots causing rot.

Want more info on root rot on succulents? Check out our piece “What is Root Rot & How Do You Fix it?” and learn techniques on how to fix this problem.

Quick Tips to a Thriving Elephant Bush

Keeping your Elephant Bush in the best possible health requires the following:

  • Consistent exposure to sunlight, with partial shade for protection
  • Use a stake to help keep the plant stable as it grows bigger
  • Sandy soil with extra perlite will help elevate drainage
  • Potted Elephant Bush should be repotted every two years

If you are starting out with caring for succulents, then this is an ideal plant for you to keep. It requires minimal care and can add character to a succulent garden, both indoors and outdoors.


Elephant Bush - Portulacaria Afra
Care For Your Elephant @dwarfjadebonsai

Thank you for reading! Enjoyed learning about the Elephant Bush succulent? If so, you’ll really enjoy our ebook about “The Most Common Issues Amongst Succulent Growers“. 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. 

Be sure to also check out similar articles on rare succulents like the Elephant Bush to spark up your interest. Check out “Crassula perforata – String of buttons” or even “Pachyphytum Oviferum — Moonstones“.

Happy Planting! ?

Watch Chain Succulent (Crassula Muscosa)

Watch Chain Succulent (Crassula muscosa)

Think you’ve been blown away enough by what the succulent world has to offer? Think again. Each day brings a possibility of encountering another new (and fascinating) plant.

Today, our object of admiration is the Crassula muscosa, otherwise known by the common name watch chain. Maybe you’ve heard of it? Yes? No?

It doesn’t matter – This piece will give all you need. The watch chain succulent is an interesting ornamental plant. You might want to consider adding it to your collection.

But before you make this decision, dive in below to and learn all that there is about it.

Watch Chain Succulent (Crassula muscosa)
The Watch Chain succulent held by hand @evyesili


Crassula muscosa isn’t much of an upward grower. It reaches just a height of about 12 inches (30cm). This lack in height is compensated by the numerous branches the stems put out. This gives the plant quite a wide frame, sometimes extending up to 8 inches (20 cm).

The stems are completely covered by close-cropped rows of narrow faint green interlocking leaves. The arrangement and size of the leaves give the stem a zipper-like appearance, which has earned it another common name – the zipper plant.

The plant has quite a bit of unconventional flowering – instead of throwing up blooms at the tips of stems, they (blooms) appear along the stem with the leaves. They are green-yellow and come out mainly during spring or summer. The blooms may also appear during other seasons after rains or watering.

This zipper-like beauty is a native of several (3) countries found in the southern part of Africa. That is Namibia, Lesotho, and South Africa.

Aside from the above two common names, it also goes by:

  • Rattail Crassula
  • Lizard’s tail succulent
  • Crassula princess pine
  • Clubmoss Crassula

Growing Conditions and Care

Being a succulent, you can guess the kind of conditions the watch chain will thrive in. They aren’t exactly conditions that will require your attentiveness.

Just a bit of attention, and you’ll have an amazing plant letting out lots of stems. Here are some pointers for you.

1. Cold hardiness

The bad news is that Cmuscosa isn’t a fan of extremely low temperatures. Leave it out during winter, and all you’ll have are tales of a zippy plant you had.

But that doesn’t mean you don’t have a chance of growing it outside. Well, that’s if your USDA hardiness zone falls between 9a and 10b – average minimum winter readings of 200 F (-6.70 C). If the minimum temperature in your area is below this, you can still set it up in a container and have it indoors during the cold season.

Check out “How to Care for Succulents in the Winter” to see more tips on taking care of your succulent during the cold season.

2. Watering requirements

Like most succulents, if you want a healthy watch chain plant, going easy on watering is a must. You know the drill when it comes to succulents, right?

Always let the soil completely dry out before you water again. This mimics the water availability in the natural habitat – occasional heavy downpours. The plant is adapted to this, so it will keep beaming with life.

You’ll find that you have to increase the watering frequency in summer if you’re raising this succulent outdoors.

Make sure to not underwater your succulent and check out “Dangers of an Underwatered Succulent” for more on leaving your succulent too dry.

3. Soil

We should mention: the zipper plant grows in rocky quartz fields that hold water only for a short period. They’re well-draining, that is.

So as the watering, make sure that whatever soil/medium you put your plant in is in line with this property of the natural habitat. And that means regular potting soil doesn’t cut it.

To be safe, use a cactus/succulent mix. Alternatively, you can enhance the drainage of regular potting soil by adding sand and perlite/pumice.

Well-draining soils complement the once-in-a-while watering routine. This way, the plant isn’t held in soggy soils for prolonged periods. The rot has no chance in such a case.

Try this succulent mix for your plants!

Our Pick
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09/25/2021 12:02 pm GMT

4. Lighting

Full to partial sun is perfect for this cutie. How you meet this demand depends on whether you’re growing your plant indoors or outdoors.

Indoors, be sure to have the plant near the brightest window. On the other hand, if your baby is outdoors, have it in a spot that receives six hours of sunlight.

As much as the watch chain loves sunlight, things can get out of hand when exposed to the afternoon summer rays. They’re too intense and are sure to burn your plant. So keep this in mind if you decide to nurture this succulent outside.

Be sure to check out other succulents that like little to no light in “7 Best Succulents for Low Light Environments“.

5. Propagation

Crassula muscosa is pretty easy to propagate. Having such a heavy branching tendency, you’ll need to cut off a few of them (or many as you please).

Like the parent plant, you should plant the cuttings in a well-draining soil mix. Place the resultant set up in a bright location and water as soon as the soil has dried out. The watering shouldn’t start immediately, though. Let the cuttings be for a day or two.

Need more tips to propagate your succulents? Check out “5 Tips for Propagating Succulents” for our full guide.

6. Repotting

You may have to repot your succulent after some time, especially with its typical dense branching. Here are a few points to note when carrying out this process:

  • Don’t try to repot when the medium is still wet. Let it dry out completely.
  • Make it all fresh. Ensure you rid the roots of any previous soil.
  • See any sickly or damaged roots? Cut them off.


Watch Chain Succulent (Crassula muscosa)
A person holding a potted succulent @plantaloon

Thank you for reading! Loved learning about this succulent and now inspired to add more to your collection?! (We don’t blame you) Check out Succulent City’s new line of ebooks covering topics from, “All the Types of Succulents for Indoor and Outdoor,” “Different Types of Planters,” and many more helpful in-depth ebooks. Head to this link to view our full line of ebooks and get started with our complimentary guide.

Check out related articles to keep your succulent knowledge growing like “14 Sedum Succulents You Need In Your Garden” or even “5 Safest Fertilizers For Your Succulents“.

Happy Planting! ?

Where Do Most Succulents Come From?

Where Do Most Succulents Come From?

The current succulents-craze has turned most living rooms into mini jungles. An Echeveria here, a Saguaro there — talk about an intriguing aesthetic!

But where do these irresistible babies come from? Instagram? Close guess, but not quite. While it’s true that social media has played a huge role in striking an interest in curious plant lovers, most succulent owners are oblivious of the native homes of their plants.

Where Do Most Succulents Come From?
Where do most succulents come from @somwooddesigns

So Where Exactly Do Succulents Hail From?

Succulents are indigenous to many parts of the world and they come in various species while growing under different conditions. Knowing where your succulent plants come from will help you emulate their natural habitat when growing them so that you can give them their best conditions.

Let’s dive in and take a closer look at these plants.

Where Do Most Succulents Come From?
purple toned @suculentas_agora

History of Succulents

Originally, the succulent plants grew in arid and semi-arid areas which have long dry periods such as the deserts. These areas include Africa, North, and Central America, as well as the European Alps.

Fondly known as the camels of the plant world, succulent plants can survive for long periods without water. I’m sure you’re aware though.

When human beings realized that these plants needed little water to survive and had low maintenance, they sought to domesticate them by planting them in their indoor gardens and houses. Apart from their resilience, they are beautiful and come in different colors, shapes, and sizes. This led to people growing them as ornamental plants.

Other benefits of succulent plants, which you can read more about here, have been realized with time, which includes reduced risk of attracting pests, and are difficult to overgrow.

The historical significance of most succulent species has inspired their conservation. For example, the Agave Harvardia is used as a natural sweetener while Aloe Vera is considered a healing plant.

Throughout history, many cultures have used succulent plants for medical and culinary purposes. Check out our article 6 Edible Succulents to Excite Your Tastebuds.


Where Do Most Succulents Come From?
grown in different parts of the world

Why the Name Succulent?

The word succulent originated from Latin and it means juice or sap. The plants store water in the form of sap in different parts like the leaves, the stem, or the roots.

The sap makes these parts to be unusually thickened and fleshy as they are used to retaining water. During dry periods, the plant uses water to survive.

Where Do Most Succulents Come From?
diversity in succulents

Ancient Succulent Myths and Beliefs

Although succulent plants have been here for a long period of time, there are still myths and beliefs that surround them. Whether you are new or knowledgeable in the world of succulents, you may not recognize the myths that surround these magical plants.

Where Do Most Succulents Come From?
barely need any water

Myth 1: Protection from Death

Some succulents are believed to offer protection against bad luck and death, like the Sempervivum Tectorum. Its name means “always on top” and you are most likely to find it on rooftops!

Even today they are still found on some cottage roofs in Mid or Southwest Wales. The myth goes that once a stranger removes or picks it, bad luck strikes the family and can lead to the death of a family member.

If you’re a believer, stock up on some hooks to hang one of these planters on the roof with!

Where Do Most Succulents Come From?
every succulent has its own symbolism

Myth 2: It Keeps Family Members Safe and Prosperous

The Houseleek is believed to ward off evil and keep family members safe and prosperous. It has been believed to protect the household against witchcraft, fire, and lightning.

Fun Fact: This was one of the reasons why Roman Emperor Charlemagne (742-814 AD) ordered all the people under his rule to grow houseleeks on their roofs.

Whether you this is a fib or not to you, they still make beautiful house plants!

Where Do Most Succulents Come From?
long succulents

Myth 3: Attracting Wealth

The myth goes that the Jade succulent was used to attract good luck and bring wealth to Asian communities. The presence of the succulent is considered auspicious. It has beautiful vibrant green leaves. Wealth and prosperity are elements related to growth and renewal. That is why this plant is a symbol of just that.

We love the Jade plant! Read more about this beauty with our article, here.

Where Do Most Succulents Come From?
bringing good luck and good fortune

Where Do Most Succulents Originate then?

Although succulents are indigenous plants to many parts of the world, they tend to be dominant in Africa, Central America, and South Africa. These places offer different conditions for their growth and produce different species.

For that, these plants have a wide range of habitats and thrive in environments that would otherwise be inhabitable for other plant species. From extreme temperatures to low rainfall, these plants tend to be very hardy and adaptable.

Where Do Most Succulents Come From?
Aloe Vera

The Country that Hosts the Most Succulents

Now, while it is impossible to explicitly state the exact country that hosts the most succulent species, it is apparent that most species end up being native to a number of countries. Mexico is one of the greatest succulent plants’ habitats.


It hosts numerous succulent plant species due to its conducive climate and conditions. It’s dry and hilly, and its climate is quite extreme. Some of the most common species include Echeveria Elegans, Echeveria Agavoides, Graptopetalum Pentadrum, Sedum allantoides, Echinocereus Viridiflorus (nylon Hedgehog Cactus), Seven Stars, ladyfinger Cactus, Moses in the Cradle, Hookers Orchid Cactus, and many more.

Learn more about succulents from Mexico with our article 5 Most Popular Succulents from Mexico!

South Africa

South Africa is known for its succulent Karoo which stretches from the South African west coast to southwestern Namibia. The climate here is arid or semi-arid making it a rich habitat for many species of succulent plants. Most of the area is either flat or hilly and receives minimum precipitation. The temperatures can go up to 44 degrees Celsius.

 The most common species found in this area are Cotyledon Orbiculate, Portulacaria Afra Prostrata, Jade Plant (Crassula Ovata), Delosperma cooperi, Aloe zebrina, Jelly bean plant (Sedum Pachyphyllum), Zebra plant (Haworthia attenuata), Elephant bush/ Spekboom (Portulacaria Afra), Panda plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa), Ghost Plant (Graptopetalum paraguayense), Plush plant (Echeveria Pulvinata), and many more!

Where Do Most Succulents Come From?
potted Zebra plants

Are any of your succulents native to Mexico or South Africa? Drop a comment below and let us know!

This article is sponsored by Amazon Prime! Amazon is offering our Succulent City community an exclusive offer of a FREE 30-day trial of their famous Amazon Prime Membership. Click here to get your free trial started and enjoy that free 2-day shipping!

For an extended look at native African succulents, check out our article Who is The Queen Of The Night? Or maybe you’re curious to learn about new succulents? Our article 8 Rare Succulents Worth Exploring will enlighten you on some new additions for your collection!

Love all things succulents and just want MORE? Well, look no further than Succulent City’s social media! Check out our Instagram and Pinterest for daily content. Or join our exclusive Facebook Group where fellow succulent lovers share their photos and tips!

Did you love learning about this succulent and now feel inspired to add more to your collection?! (We don’t blame you) Check out Succulent City’s new line of ebooks covering topics from, “All the Types of Succulents for Indoor and Outdoor,” “Different Types of Planters,” and many more helpful in-depth ebooks. Head to this link to view our full line of ebooks and get started with our complimentary guide. 

Thanks for reading, happy planting! ?

The Crested Green Coral Succulent

Have you ever come across a plant that looks creepy but at the same time inviting? A plant that coils and curls itself around its habitat like a snake getting comfortable for a nap. The more you stare at it, the more you believe it belongs in a sci-fi movie about creatures from the future. If you have not seen it, may we suggest you have a look at the magnificent Crested Green Coral succulent.

The exceedingly rare and highly sought after Crested Green Coral Succulent has its roots in Africa. Its original habitat has been around the Eastern Cape, on the border to the former Transkei state, Kei Mouth, Mazeppa Bay, and Komgha districts in South Africa. The plant is scientifically known as Euphorbia flanaganii f. cristata and belongs to the family Euphorbiaceae.

The Succulent Named After Medusa

Known for its striking nature, this arresting house plant comes in two main varieties due to a genetic mutation in the plant’s structure. There are two types of cristata form. The caudex cristation grows with a central shoot that forms a snaky fan-shaped ridge with cylindrical lateral shoots protruding from it. The other species called branch cristation forms with a lateral shoot only and large pad-like leaves.

The first thing you notice about this succulent is the thick and curled, fan-shaped branches with deep green stems that protrude from the plant-like tentacles. The central stem merges into roots forming a tuberous body or caudex. This enticing pattern is what gives this succulent the name Crested Medusa’s Head. It also resembles something that should be at the bottom of the sea, hence the name Green Coral. As the plant grows, it creates a cushion-like mass with the lateral root snaking around the succulent.

The ‘tentacles’ sticking out of the plant are soft and narrow, and they inconspicuously develop fragrant chartreuse flowers in the spring. A full-grown Green Coral succulent can get to 6 inches (15 cm) tall and 12 inches (30 cm) wide. When under the sun’s full glare, the plant takes on a bronze color while during the winter, it can turn into a deep red hue.

Caring for the Crested Green Coral Succulent

The Green Coral loves to bask in the sun and will appreciate some light shade. For the plant to thrive, it requires at least 6 hours of direct sunlight every day. They are not big fans of the winter and would need to be kept indoors. They are a little sensitive and should be gradually introduced to the sun after the cold months; otherwise, they will suffer from sunburn.

This succulent does relish a fast-draining soil mix with extra pumice, grit, or perlite. Like most succulents, these plants are not water babies, and they cannot tolerate being wet. They can comfortably last through the winter with minimal watering and should be offered a drink once a week during the summer.

As the mother plant matures, it produces pups at the ends of the tentacles. The plant gets a bump or slight swelling at the end of an arm, and it gradually grows into its caudex and arms. If they are unable to find a spot to root, the new arm will shrivel to allow the pup to roll away from the main plant. If the pup gets access to soil and water, it multiplies and can cause an infestation of Medusa heads. The best time to propagate the Crested Green Coral succulent is during the summer.

Be Wary of the Crested Medusa Head

Just like the Greek legend of Medusa, this succulent comes with a word of caution. The leaves of the Crested Green Coral succulent produce a milky sap that can be poisonous. The sap has been known to cause adverse reactions when it comes into contact with your skin or eyes. Plant owners with curious pets should be particularly careful as this succulent can be toxic if ingested. The plant rarely needs pruning or maintenance, but one should be cautious and wear gloves and goggles when handling this succulent.

The Crested Green Coral Succulent is an intimidating plant and certainly not for the faint-hearted. It does not ask for much, just sunlight and a drink of water once a week. If left unattended for long periods, it tends to grow out of its pot and spread around the room. Other than that, this is one succulent every green thumb must see at least once in their lifetime.