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Echeveria

Previously known as:

  • Courantia
  • Oliveranthus Rose
  • Oliverella Rose
  • Reidmorania
  • Urninia Rose
Phonetic Spelling
ech-eh-ver-EE-a
Description

Echeveria is the genus that includes nearly 200 species of houseplants and myriads of hybrids. The genus is named for Atanasio Echeverria y Godoy, a seventeenth century botanical illustrator who contributed to Flora Mexicana. The plants are succulents and found in the Crassulaceae family which includes sedums, the Jade Tree, Kalanchoe and many other genera. This plant is native to an area stretching from southwest Texas to northwest Argentina and it has been introduced to Vietnam and New Zealand. However, it is found everywhere in the world someone wants an easy to care for houseplant with an interesting shape and attractive flowers.

The thick fleshy leaves of this plant form a tight rosette which stays very close to the ground for a while, but eventually, as the leaves wither and drop from the bottom of the stem, this elongates. You can finish up with a tall stem with a rosette or two of leaves at the top. Not a problem. One of this plant's common names is based on the fact that it grows offsets (chicks). Simply remove an offset, place it in very well drained soil and it will root. You could also cut off the crown leaving a short stem which you repot again into very well drained soil. Or you might want to try removing a leaf and just leaving it on the soil. Eventually a small rosette will form and the old leaf will wither away.

The plant is native to deserts and so doesn't mind being in full sun. In fact, the coloring of the leaves improves with sunlight. It needs little water. And because they are generally small they make great additions to edge of border and rock gardens. However, they are not truly frost hardy so unless you live in places that don't get too cold, you have to bring them inside in the winter. Thankfully, they look great grouped in a short wide pot with bigger ones in the middle, trailing ones at the edge and everything in between. Try them by the poolside.

The leaves come in many different colors most tending towards grey, sea green and blue green. However some are pointed, some are rounded, some have thin veins of color running along the edge, others have a blush of color fading in towards the center. And if that is't enough to tempt you, once a year stems rise from where the leaf meets the stem and flowers of light pink, reddish pink sometimes with yellow marking in the throat appear in a group at the ends attracting bumble bees and hummingbirds. Sometimes there are small leaves along the stem as well.

Quick ID:

  • Thick, fleshy, upright leaves in a mounding habit
  • Entire margins with a point at the tip

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No significant problems

 

VIDEO Created by Laura Barth for "Houseplants, Succulents, and Cacti", a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.

 

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Blue Metal', E. derenbergii, E. elegans, E. multicaulis, E. runyonii 'Topsy Turvy', E. secunda, E. x gliva, 'Pulv-oliver'
Tags:
#small spaces#houseplant#drought tolerant#perennials#easy to grow#pet friendly#herbaceous perennials#easy to propagate#rock garden#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#crevice garden#container plant#easy to grow houseplant#hsc#hsc-s
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Blue Metal', E. derenbergii, E. elegans, E. multicaulis, E. runyonii 'Topsy Turvy', E. secunda, E. x gliva, 'Pulv-oliver'
Tags:
#small spaces#houseplant#drought tolerant#perennials#easy to grow#pet friendly#herbaceous perennials#easy to propagate#rock garden#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#crevice garden#container plant#easy to grow houseplant#hsc#hsc-s
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Echeveria
    Family:
    Crassulaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Leaf Cutting
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Texas to Argentina
    Distribution:
    introduced range includes Vietnam, New Zealand
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts bumble bees and hummingbirds
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 1 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 2 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Houseplant
    Perennial
    Succulent
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Mounding
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    Tiny black seeds in a capsule
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Pink
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The unscented flowers of this plant are tubular and usually deep pink with or without yellow markings. But the plant breeders have extended the range and you can find them salmon pink and sometimes yellow. They appear annually at the end a stem that is usually erect but sometimes droops. They hang down in a loose bunch attracting bumble bees and hummingbirds.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Variegated
    White
    Leaf Feel:
    Fleshy
    Glossy
    Smooth
    Waxy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Oblanceolate
    Ovate
    Spatulate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves of this plant are what make it. They are thick and fleshy and come in a range of colors, shapes, sizes and markings. The color is better in full sun. They wither and drop off from the bottom and can be a source of disease if not removed. They have a point at the tip, but can be distinguished from Aonium by the entire margins and more upright habit. Most are smooth and hairless and some have a glaucous bloom on the surface.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Surface:
    Covered with a powdery bloom (glaucous)
    Stem Description:
    The stems of this plant are succulent and the same color as the leaves. Although they are very short at the start of the plant's life they do grow erectly and may branch. If you don't like the stem with a tuft at the top, cut off the tuft with and inch or so of stem and repot it.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Houseplants
    Patio
    Pool/Hardscape
    Rock Wall
    Small Space
    Vertical Spaces
    Landscape Theme:
    Children's Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Foundation Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Hummingbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought