A Size And Shape For Every Situation
At least 60 plant families have some succulent species. The adaptations that these plants have made to hold on to moisture make them especially interesting garden specimens. Ground-hugging rosettes pack water into thick, pointed leaves that hybridizers have edged with ribbons of color or rose-petal-like frills. Some species have a swollen stem known as a caudex that serves as a water storage tank. Others resemble cacti, complete with ridged stems and spiky thorns.

Among the most familiar succulents are sedums, including that perennial ­favorite Sedum spectabile 'Autumn Joy,' which grows 18 to 24 inches tall and bears dramatic rosy-red flower heads in late summer. Another sedum, two-row stonecrop (Sedum spurium) is a low-maintenance groundcover with fine ­foliage and white, pink, or purple flowers in summer. Low-growing Sedum rupestre 'Angelina' has yellow blooms.

Another groundcover, ice plant (Delosperma spp.) has tiny, fingerlike fleshy leaves and blooms in full sun with masses of daisylike flowers all summer. Delosperma nubigenum is a noninvasive type that bears yellow blooms.
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