Information about plants & gardens for Brisbane & Qld
and other Xeriphytic Plants
Succulents, with their fleshy leaves or stems, are an easily-recognised group of xeriphytes (or xerophytes) which are plants adapted to withstand prolonged periods with little water. This group has become very popular recently as many parts of the world face increasing watering restrictions and declining gardening skills.
Their interesting "architectural" forms work well with contemporary building design. However, they could be very usefully incorporated into a more traditional garden if most of the succulents used are of the softer and prettier types and mixed in with other plants. Some bold types can be blended with drought tolerant palms, strelitzia and such for a waterwise tropical landscape.
Note, however, that they do have a lot of weed potential, reproducing readily from small pieces and surviving harsh conditions. Some are already recognised as weeds.
Biosecurity Comes Calling
Backyard growers on the Sunshine Coast have had over 1,000 banned plants (mostly cacti) seized and destroyed. "Our staff, together with Sunshine Coast Regional Council officers have been on the lookout for people selling illegal plants either online or through local markets," said Biosecurity Queensland Operations Manager Rob Cobon. If you're aware of someone growing or selling illegal plants, you can alert Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23. Source: Biosecurity Queensland and Sunshine Coast Council target illegal weeds in backyard nurseries. (January, 2020)Older news at bottom of page.
Suppliers of succulents to Qld
Succulents are now so popular that most regular garden centres can be expected to carry an assortment. However, if you're looking for something in particular, especially if a rare species, you might need to seek out a specialist nursery or look out for succulents for sale at garden shows, open gardens etc.
Garden shows are other places to look for unusual succulents, because smaller specialists sometimes attend such events.
If you operate a succulent nursery (including online and mail order nurseries) or you promote or distribute unusual succulent plants or related products, please get in touch for information about advertising on this page.
Types of succulents
There are way too many succulents available these days to be cover every one in detail on this site. However, we can take a look at some types that are most popular in Queensland, particularly for landscaping. The following plant groups have separate pages:
Euphorbia millii (E. milli and Poysean hybrids)
Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)
Snowflake (Euphorbia leucocephala)
Portulaca varieties used as ornamental bedding: Annual Flowers and Bedding PlantsVarious other succulents below:
On other pages: Euphorbia millii (E. milli and Poysean hybrids)
The following photos are of a common succulent which, based on online information, is probably xGraptosedum 'Francesco Baldi'. It grows very easily in Brisbane and gets passed around.
Probably xGraptosedum 'Francesco Baldi'
This genus encompasses a range of fleshy-leaved plants which are not spiky or spiny. Forms range from low growing to tall with leaves variously coloured and smooth or felt-like.
Silver Spoons, Kalanchoe bracteata
For Portulaca varieties used as ornamental bedding, go to Annual Flowers and Bedding Plants
Coral Senecio, Senecio fulgens (Synonym Kleinia fulgens)
Blue Chalksticks, Senecio mandraliscae
Stapelia species, probably S. gigantea
Climate key to cactus diversity
Genomic anaysis suggests that while the Cactus family probably emerged some 35 million years ago, rapid diversification did not occur until between 5 and 10 million years ago. This coincides with major periods of speciation in other succulents around the world, suggesting a major change in global climate at that time. The scientists think that a drop in temperature (indicated by other studies) led to reduced rainfall. It is also possible that a drop in atmospheric CO2 may have also given the succulents a competitive advantage. Tropical grasses with the C4 mode of photosynthesis also expanded at this time. Source: Succulent plants waited for cool, dry Earth to make their mark (May 2011)
ALERT: Cactus growers and traders under threat
All Australians, especially anyone who grows or handles plants, should be aware of proposals from the federal government to expand the list of species to be banned or regulated due to alleged drug dangers. A variety of Australian natives and common garden exotics could potentially be banned, in addition to many cactus species. The website gardenfreedom.com provides more information on this issue, including how you can have your say.
Possible misspellings: succulants, suculents, suculants
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