Definition - What does Succulent mean?
Succulents, or fat plants as they are sometimes known, are a family of plants made distinctive by their waxy leaves and ability to retain moisture.
Succulents are particularly suited for arid climates because they require very little water to survive and are able to retain moisture for later use by storing it in the fatty tissues of their leaves.
Although similar in structure, form, and efficient use of water, cacti plants are not included in the succulent family of plants.
MaximumYield explains Succulent
There are at least 60 plant families containing succulents that are able to derive and retain moisture from many sources. Succulents can utilize the water from fog, dew, or limited rainfall.
Succulents use a variety of different mechanisms to retain and conserve water. Their fatty, waxy leaves do not transpire at a rapid rate; it is the stems and not the leaves where photosynthesis occurs. In addition, their roots grow near the surface, enabling them to gain atmospheric moisture.
Succulents can grow and thrive almost anywhere. For example, because they are able to obtain atmospheric water through their leaves, succulents can grow on the surface of a stone with very little water collected by their roots. For this reason, succulents are popular for rock gardens or terracotta pots on the patio.
Succulents are popular landscape plants not only because of their hardiness, but also because of their interesting appearance.