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Common Names of Succulent Plants

By Karen Carter ; Updated September 21, 2017

Succulents are plants with thick, fleshy leaves and stems that specialize in water storage. More than 60 plant families are considered succulents. There are a variety of forms and sizes of these plants, including cacti. In mild or arid conditions, succulents can grow outdoors, otherwise they are commonly found as houseplants. Succulents are low-maintenance plants. They require monthly watering. Let the succulents dry out thoroughly between waterings.


Agavaceae, or Agave family, is well known for the agave or yucca plants. Members of this family includes Agave Americana, known as the century plant; Agave attenuata Nova or horrida; Agave bracteosa Variegata, called the variegated squid agave; Agave ocahui; Agave victoria-regnae, commonly known as the Queen Victoria agave; Dasylirion longissimum, or Mexican grass plant; and Manfreda maculosa, called the Texas tuberose.


Aizoaceae family is the fig-marigold family and contains succulents like ice plants. Other succulents in this group are Astrophyton myriostigma (bishop’s cap), Fenestraria rhopalophylla (baby toes), Frithia pulchra (purple baby toes), Lithops dorotheae (living stones), Lithops turbiniformis (stoneface) and Oscularia deltoides (ice plant).


Crassulaceae or Orpine family host plants like the jade plant. More plants in this family are Aeonium tabulaeforme (saucer plant), Anacampseros telephiastrum Variegata (Pan American love plant), Cotyledon macrantha (cotyledon), Crassula arborescens (silver jade plant), Crassula falcata (propeller plant or scarlet paintbrush), Crassula lycopodioides (watch chain crassula), Crassula ovata (jade plant), Crassula peltata (pagoda plant), Crassula perforata (button on a string), Crassula streyi (stonecrop), Echeveria elegans (hen and chicks), Graptopetalum paraguayense (ghost plant) and Tylecodon paniculatus (butter tree).


Euphorbiaceae, or Spurge family, contains succulents like the crown of thorns. Other types are Euphorbia canariensis (Hercules club), Euphorbia caput-medusae (Medusa’s head), Euphorbia cooperi (lesser candelabra tree), Euphorbia lambii (tabalba), Euphorbia leucodendron (euphorbia), Euphorbia milii (crown of thorns), Euphorbia obesa (baseball plant), Euphorbia tirucalli Stick Of Fire (red pencil tree) and Euphorbia trigona (African milk tree).


Liliaceae or Lily family is home to the aloes. Others types are Aloe ciliaris (climbing aloe), Aloe distans (jeweled aloe), Aloe ferox (bitter aloe), Aloe nobilis (golden tooth aloe), Aloe plicatilis (fan aloe), Aloe saponaria (soap aloe), Aloe striata (coral aloe), Aloe suprafoliata (Mustache plant), Aloe variegata (tiger aloe), Aloe vera (medicinal aloe) and Haworthia fasciata (zebra plant).


About the Author


Karen Carter spent three years as a technology specialist in the public school system and her writing has appeared in the "Willapa Harbor Herald" and the "Rogue College Byline." She has an Associate of Arts from Rogue Community College with a certificate in computer information systems.