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In the world of green, succulents are the ultimate easy-going friends. They’re ready to brighten your home without demanding too much TLC.

Succulents are a diverse group of plants celebrated for their water-storing abilities. Their thick, fleshy leaves or stems make them the epitome of “less is more” for plant lovers.

They thrive on neglect, flourishing where other plants might wither. 

The best part is these hardy survivors can make a home anywhere, from Queensland’s lush tropics to the stark landscapes of Western Australia.

Tall Succulents | Small Succulents | Hanging Succulents | Flowering Succulents | Native Australian Succulents | Colourful Succulents | Edible Succulents | Rare Succulents


Tall Succulents in Australia

Some succulents can grow up to 1.6 metres tall; others go all the way up to 6 metres if they have lots of space and sunlight.

Here are a few of our favourite tall succulents that grow best outdoors:


Aloe Vera

aloe vera succulent

If you’ve ever been to the skincare aisle, you’ve seen aloe vera or “aloe” on tonnes of products. This is because aloe vera has a soothing gel in its thick, fleshy leaves. 

Not only is this succulent used for cosmetic purposes, but it’s also known to be edible and rich in vitamins, minerals and amino acids that support your immune system.

Aloe vera is an outdoor succulent that grows 60-100cm tall. Although that might not seem very tall, aloe can keep growing if left unattended with a lot of sunlight. 

It’s ideal for sunny spots and is widely cultivated in Queensland and New South Wales.

Aloe vera blooms in summer, presenting a tall stalk of yellow flowers, but not all aloe vera plants flower. 

It can take at least 4 years for an aloe vera plant to bloom if it chooses to, especially in favourable weather conditions.

If you’re keen to own a blooming variety, there are aloe varieties that flower much more abundantly:

  • Bush Baby Yellow
  • Andrea’s Orange
  • Ivory Tower


Tree Aeonium (Aeonium arboreum)

Tree Aeonium

The tree aeonium, or Aeonium arboreum, stands out with its dramatic rosettes of glossy, fleshy leaves.

It is native to the Canary Islands but has adapted quite well to Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania.

The most distinct feature of tree aeoniums is that they can change their green leaf colour into red due to sunlight exposure. 

It can grow up to 1.5 metres in height, meaning you should probably not keep it indoors unless you have really tall ceilings.

Besides its thick, rosette-shaped leaves, this large succulent is home to various flowering plants with stunning colours. 

The tree aeonium blooms from late winter to spring, producing conical clusters of bright yellow flowers contrasting beautifully against its dark foliage.

The tree aeonium prefers full sun to partial shade and needs well-draining soil to thrive.


Agave (Agave Americana, Agave angustifolia, Agave sisalana)

agave americana succulent

Their ability to grow massively over the years makes agave succulents easily recognisable. 

They also have distinct sharp spines on the edge of their leaves, which look pointy and menacing to greenhorns.

Agaves are perfect for landscaping and complement other outdoor plants in terms of design. This tall succulent thrives and is naturalised in Queensland.

One notable type of agave is the Americana or Century Plant. It boasts wide, grey-green leaves and grows about 2 metres tall and 3 metres wide.

The Americana got its nickname because people believed it took a hundred years to flower. But flowering actually happens after the plant is alive for 10 to 25 years and is about 10 metres tall.


Yucca (Yucca elephantipes, Yucca filamentosa, Yucca gloriosa)


Yucca plants are known for their sword-like leaves that grow from a central point, creating a rosette pattern.

These leaves can be stiff and sharp, making yucca an excellent choice for adding architectural interest to a garden or as a natural deterrent in certain areas.

Yuccas are easily identified by their spectacular flower spikes, which can appear in summer or autumn, depending on the species and local conditions. 

They are highly adaptable and thrive in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

A lovely variety of the yucca family is the yucca elephantipes or spineless yucca. It can grow up to 9 metres tall.

Despite its name, this plant packs a punch and can be intimidating to look at if you’re not used to bigger succulents.

The spineless yucca got its nickname from its lack of sharp, spiky leaves. However, this yucca has tall, white flower spikes that reach up to 2 metres or more when mature.

Its white bell-shaped flowers are attractive to a variety of pollinators, including bees and moths.


Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)

Jade plant succulent

The jade plant, aka Crassula ovata, is a beloved succulent known for its symbolic association with good luck and prosperity. 

The jade is a common sight in Australian homes and gardens, from the warm climates of Queensland to the cooler southern states.

Jade plants are versatile, thriving both indoors and outdoors. While they tolerate many conditions, they still need protection from frost and enjoy full sun to partial shade.

It grows slowly but can reach heights of up to 1.5 metres. The jade plant has thick, woody stems and glossy green leaves that can develop red edges when exposed to sunlight. 

Under the right conditions (typically, winter), jade plants can produce small, star-shaped white or pink flowers.


Golden Barrel Cactus (Echinocactus grusonii)

Golden Barrel Cactus

Golden Barrel Cactus is a popular ornamental plant in Australia, recognised for its round shape and bright yellow spines.

Native to central Mexico, it adapts well to Australia’s climate, requiring plenty of sunlight and well-draining soil. This cactus can grow up to 1 metre in diameter and produces small, yellow flowers in the summer.


Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia)

Prickly Pear Cactus

Prickly Pear Cactus is well-suited to Australian conditions and is known for its flat, paddle-shaped segments covered in spines. 

This tall cactus grows up to 5 metres and produces edible fruits called tunas (not to be confused with tuna fish). It thrives in full sun and can tolerate dry, arid conditions, making it a resilient addition to any garden.


Small Succulents in Australia

Now, we can look at small succulent plants that can live on your shelf, desk or porch. 

These small succulents range from 5-30cm, making them perfect for indoor spaces.


Mexican Snowball (Echeveria elegans)

Mexican snowball

Echeveria elegans, also known as the Mexican Snowball, is a popular succulent due to its stunning rosette shape and powdery-blue leaves.

This echeveria blooms in the spring and summer, producing pink to coral flowers on tall stems above its foliage.

Echeveria plants, except for hybrids, are drought-tolerant succulents that rarely grow more than 30cm. 

This small succulent reaches maturity at 2 to 3 years of age when it produces offsets that grow into another echeveria plant.

It thrives in well-drained soil and loves the full sun. Echeveria elegans is perfect for rockeries, container gardens, or striking ground cover in warmer Australian climates.


Zebra Plant (Haworthia fasciata)

zebra plant

Growing no more than 15cm tall, the zebra plant is a perfect indoor ornamental plant. This small succulent is rosette-shaped with white stripes on dark green leaves, looking a lot like a zebra! 

It grows up to 15cm tall and does well indoors across Australia.

The zebra plant prefers indirect light, making it an ideal indoor succulent in Australia. 

Like its succulent siblings, the Haworthia fasciata is drought tolerant and only requires watering when its soil has completely dried out.

Its compact size and low maintenance make it perfect for desks, shelves or part of a succulent display in less sunny spots of the home.


Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum tectorum)

hens and chicks

Commonly known as Hens and Chicks, Sempervivum tectorum forms dense mats of rosettes with green leaves tipped in red.

Its rosettes typically grow up to 10cm in diameter, meaning it will fit on your plant shelf.

This hardy succulent is well-suited to Australia’s variable climates, making it an excellent choice for ground cover, rock gardens, or wall plantings.

Sempervivum flowers once in their lifetime — this spectacle is when the “hen” or mother plant produces a tall flower stalk and offsets (or chicks).

These offsets can be planted again and produce their own chicks when they’re mature.


Living Stones (Lithops)

Living Stones

If you’ve looked for “small succulents” online, chances are you’ve come across some plants that look like chewable vitamins or pastel-coloured stones. 

These are called Lithops, fascinating small succulents that mimic the appearance of stones or pebbles as a form of camouflage.

Lithops, or ‘living stones’, thrive in very well-drained soil and require minimal water (much like stones). 

In Australia, lithops are best grown in containers where watering and sun exposure can be carefully controlled.

In autumn, lithops bloom daisy-like flowers, adding an unexpected splash of colour (and life) to their otherwise barren appearance.


Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera)

Christmas Cactus

Christmas Cactus, originally from Brazil, is a favourite indoor plant in Australia due to its vibrant flowers that bloom around the holiday season.

It is a compact succulent cactus that grows 30cm tall and up to 60cm wide.

Unlike desert cacti, it has flattened, leaf-like segments and prefers indirect light and a more humid environment.

In case it wasn’t obvious, this cactus is perfect for adding a festive touch to Australian homes during the Christmas season.


Hanging Succulents in Australia

Hanging or trailing succulents have a unique charm with their distinctive forms. 

Some varieties have aromatic blooms and are ideal for indoor and outdoor display.


Burro’s Tail or Donkey’s Tail (Sedum morganianum)

Burro's tail

Sedum morganianum, commonly known as Donkey’s Tail or Burro’s Tail, features fleshy, blue-green leaves that are densely packed around trailing stems. 

This succulent can grow up to a metre long, but its dense growth habit is perfect for hanging baskets.

The Donkey’s Tail prefers bright, indirect light and minimal watering — allowing this trailing succulent to thrive in the warmer parts of Australia.

Its unique appearance and ease of care make the Donkey’s Tail a favourite among succulent enthusiasts and beginners alike.


String of Bananas (Senecio radicans)

string of bananas hanging succulent

These bananas aren’t edible, unfortunately. But they sure look cute when displayed on a hanging basket.

The String of Bananas succulent features long, trailing vines with banana-shaped succulent leaves. Its cascading vines grow freely when hung, sometimes reaching lengths of over a metre.

String of Bananas loves the warm climates of Queensland and New South Wales. 

This succulent grows well in bright light, offering a playful touch to indoor spaces.


String of Hearts (Ceropegia woodii)

String of Hearts

The String of Hearts captivates with its delicate, heart-shaped leaves patterned in shades of green, silver and pink. 

This trailing succulent favours bright, indirect light and a light watering — embodying the true spirit of “less is more”. 

Its vines can cascade down to 2 metres in length, making it an ideal succulent for hanging indoor baskets where its beauty can be fully appreciated.

The String of Hearts has adapted to various Australian indoor environments, flourishing in the gentle, indirect sunlight of homes from Tasmania to Western Australia.


String of Nickels (Dischidia nummularia)

String of Nickels

Imagine a string of old-fashioned, silver nickels, but instead of metal, they’re plump, green leaves cascading down from the tropical canopies of Queensland. 

The String of Nickels is an epiphyte, a plant that grows on another plant or surface used to support it.

It loves off the air and humidity it gets from its high perch, with vines that drape elegantly. 

This succulent is ideal for hanging baskets in a well-lit bathroom or balcony.


String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)

String of Pearls

The last addition to our string quartet is the String of Pearls, a native to South Africa. 

The lovely String of Pearls is a distinctive hanging succulent, well-loved for its spherical, bead-like leaves that trail down like pearls from a string. 

One of the delightful surprises of the String of Pearls is its flowers. The plant produces small, white flowers resembling daisies with a sweet, cinnamon-like fragrance.

The String of Pearls thrives in mild climates and less extreme weather, such as in coastal areas of New South Wales and parts of South Australia. 

While it will grow best indoors where such conditions are easily controlled, you can put the String of Pearls outdoors in shaded, protected areas.

Important: Wear gardening gloves when handling your String of Pearls. This hanging succulent contains toxic properties that can cause severe skin irritations to humans and pets upon direct contact.


Flowering Succulents in Australia

Looking for a pretty little succulent to display in your home?

Here are some of our flowering favourites, not including the succulents we’ve already mentioned.


Crown of Thorns or Christ Plant (Euphorbia milii)

Crown of Thorns

The Crown of Thorns is a robust, drought-tolerant plant with densely spined stems and bright, long-lasting flowers. 

Originating from Madagascar, it has found a comfortable home in the warmer parts of Australia, particularly in coastal areas of Queensland and New South Wales.

Its resilience and continuous flowering make it a favoured choice for year-round colour in gardens and as a container plant in regions with cooler winters.

The Crown of Thorns can grow up to 1.5 metres tall. Its stems are densely covered in sharp thorns and topped with small but vivid flowers almost year-round. 

The plant can tolerate a range of light conditions, from full sun to partial shade, and prefers well-draining soil.

This succulent is also popular as an indoor ornament because of its 2-petaled flowers that resemble a small butterfly.

Crown of Thorns is typically tall, but here are some small varieties that you can grow in pots:

  • Creme Supreme – with creamy white flowers
  • Gabriella – with soft, rosy pink flowers
  • Pieta – with soft, salmon pink flowers
  • Brush Fire – with rosy-red flowers


Desert Rose (Adenium obesum)

Desert Rose

Adenium obesum, or Desert Rose, is a succulent with bulbous stems and vibrant, trumpet-shaped flowers.

It’s well-suited to the tropical and subtropical climates of Queensland and the Northern Territory, where it can enjoy the warmth and humidity similar to its native African habitat.

The Desert Rose thrives in full sun and well-draining soil, making it a popular choice for outdoor gardens and as a potted specimen on patios and balconies. 

In cooler southern states, it’s often grown indoors or in greenhouses where temperature and moisture levels can be more carefully managed.

During summertime, Desert Roses typically produce bright green, thin leaves paired with blooms in vibrant colours, depending on their variety. 

Here are some of the most common flowering hybrids of the Desert Rose succulent: 

  • Adenium somalense – has twisting branches with trumpet-shaped flowers in pink, white, or red colours
  • Adenium oleifolium – has blade-like leaves with pink, pale pink or salmon flowers
  • Adenium swazicum – dwarf variety with pink or reddish-pink flowers
  • Adenium socotranum – leafless variety with pink flowers


Easter Lily Cactus (Echinopsis eyriesii)

Easter Lily Cactus

The Easter Lily Cactus is known for its stunning, large white flowers that bloom predominantly at night and into the early morning.

This lovely succulent can reach heights of up to 20cm with a width of around 15cm.

Native to South America, this cactus has adapted well to Australia’s varied climates. It particularly thrives in the arid and semi-arid regions such as South Australia and the interior parts of Western Australia.

It prefers full sun and well-drained soil, making it suitable for rockeries and cactus gardens. 

In cooler, temperate regions like Victoria and Tasmania, the Easter Lily Cactus can be grown in containers that can be moved to protect it from excessive moisture and frost.


Florist Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)

Florist Kalanchoe

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, commonly known as Florist Kalanchoe, is cherished for its clusters of vibrant flowers and glossy, dark green leaves.

It’s well adapted to indoor and outdoor environments across Australia, from the mild climates of Victoria and South Australia to the warmer regions of Queensland and Western Australia.

Florist Kalanchoe is a compact succulent that typically reaches 30-40 cm in height. 

Its clusters of flowers rise above the foliage, creating a colourful display suitable for indoor and outdoor settings across Australia, from the cool, temperate zones to the warmer northern regions. 

In colder areas, it’s best kept indoors, where it can be protected from frost.


Moss Rose (Portulaca grandiflora)

Portulaca grandiflora, or Moss Rose, is a vibrant ground hugger. This sun-loving succulent carpets the ground with a riot of colour.

This little dynamo, stretching up to 30cm wide while standing merely 15-20 cm tall, is the garden’s living tapestry.

Its succulent leaves are almost hidden beneath a sea of jewel-toned flowers in shades ranging from neon pinks to sunny yellows, fiery reds, and oranges, with blooms that unfurl under the morning sun’s kiss.

Moss Rose is a low-growing succulent that can reach heights of just 15-20cm but spread up to 30cm wide, making it an excellent ground cover.

Its drought tolerance and vibrant flowers make it a favoured choice in the hot, dry climates of South Australia and Western Australia, where it can fully bask in the sunlight it loves so much.


Australian Native Succulents

Dive into the wild heart of Australia with native succulents!

These hardy plants thrive in the sunbaked soils and rugged landscapes, from coastal cliffs to the vast outback.


Australian Pigface (Carpobrotus rossii)

Australian Pigface

The most famous native succulent in Australia is the Pigface (also known as karkalla, sea fig, and beach bananas).

This resilient succulent, with its sprawling, fleshy leaves, is a familiar sight along the sandy coastal regions of South Australia, Victoria, and Tasmania.

Thriving in the salty sea air, Australian Pigface forms vibrant mats of colour that dazzle onlookers. It plays a crucial role in stabilising dunes and preventing erosion.

It’s a champion of coastal gardens, requiring little care while providing maximum impact, especially when its brilliant flowers bloom under the Australian sun.

In spring or summer, the Pigface bursts into colour with pink to purple flowers that look like a pig’s face! (You may need to squint a bit to see it, though.)

Despite its name, which comes from its looks, the pigface is as tough as it is beautiful.


Common Ice Plant (Mesembryanthemum crystallinum)

Common ice plant

Have you ever seen a plant that sparkles as if kissed by morning dew all day? Meet the Common Ice Plant, a succulent that’s mastered the art of bling.

This succulent thrives in saline soils from the coastal regions of South Australia to the inland deserts. Its fleshy, crystalline leaves catch sunlight and create a shimmering spectacle. 

This succulent’s unique ability to store water in its crystalline leaves allows it to shimmer like a mirage in the desert.

When the Common Ice Plant blooms, it unfurls delicate white to pink flowers, adding a soft contrast to its icy foliage. 

Perfect for rockeries or as a dazzling addition to any water-wise garden, the ice plant thrives with minimal care, asking only for a spot where it can bask in the sun.


Peperomia (Peperomia blanda var. floribunda)

Nestled in the dappled light of Queensland and New South Wales rainforests, the Peperomia is a semi-succulent plant that adds a sprinkle of green enchantment.

This delicate succulent has small, heart-shaped leaves. 

It also doesn’t need much — just a bit of shade and an occasional spritz of water.

The Peperomia is an ideal plant for adding a subtle, elegant green touch to less sunny spots indoors, mimicking its natural, rainforest habitat.


Large-Articled Samphire (Tecticornia bulbosa)

Tecticornia bulbosa, or Large-Articled Samphire, is a standout in Australia’s coastal and marshy landscapes, especially in South Australia and Western Australia. 

This succulent shrub has segmented, reddish-green stems.

It thrives in saline soils where few plants can survive. The Large-Articled Samphire plays a key role in stabilising soils and providing habitat to wildlife. 

When introduced to the garden, it only asks for a sunny location and occasional exposure to sea spray to flourish.


Three-part Crassula (Crassula alata)

Crassula alata succulent with a wasp on it

Crassula alata, known as the Three-part Crassula, decorates Western Australia’s rocky and sandy terrains. 

This compact succulent forms tight clusters of triangled, green leaves tipped with red.

It naturally occupies rocky outcrops and sandy plains, where it’s exposed to intense sunlight and well-draining conditions.

Its low stature and slow growth rate make the Three-part Crassula ideal for rock gardens, succulent displays, or as a ground cover in dry garden beds.

Despite its delicate appearance, the Three-part Crassula is tough and drought-resistant, requiring very little water once established.


Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa)

Hoya carnosa

Hoya carnosa, commonly known as the Wax Plant (or Wax Flower), is cherished for its lush, trailing vines adorned with glossy green leaves and clusters of star-shaped, fragrant flowers. 

While not exclusively native to Australia, it has become a beloved addition to the warm, humid regions of Queensland and the Northern Territory.

The Wax Plant prefers the dappled light of forest canopies in its natural environment. This means it needs bright, indirect light when grown indoors or in sheltered outdoor areas. 

The fragrant blooms, which can appear throughout the year in optimal conditions, add an exotic and tropical flair to any space.

The Wax Plant is particularly popular among indoor gardeners for its air-purifying qualities and the minimal care it requires. It’s a versatile plant that can be trained to climb or allowed to trail.


Colourful Succulents in Australia

Illuminate your home with the vibrant hues of colourful succulents. 

Perfect for Australian landscapes, these drought-tolerant plants offer a palette of colours that can brighten any space.


Blue Succulents

Blue succulents add a unique and calming touch to any garden or indoor plant collection with their cool, bluish hues. 

These succulents often feature shades ranging from pale blue to deep, striking tones that stand out in any arrangement.


Blue Chalksticks (Senecio serpens)

blue chalksticks

Blue Chalksticks are known for their slender, finger-like leaves that form dense clusters, creating a striking blue carpet.

Native to South Africa, these succulents are drought-tolerant and thrive in full sun to partial shade. They require minimal watering and are perfect for ground cover or container gardening.


Echeveria ‘Blue Atoll’

echeveria blue atoll blue Australian succulent

Echeveria ‘Blue Atoll’ enchants with its soft blue-green rosettes, which add a serene touch to any garden. 

It thrives in the mild Mediterranean climates of South Australia and Western Australia, prefers partial sun to full sun, and brings a cool, calming presence to outdoor succulent collections.


Pink Succulents

Pink succulents bring a soft and delicate charm to any plant collection with their rosy hues. These succulents are loved for their ability to add a touch of colour without being too overwhelming.


Kalanchoe ‘Fantastic’

Kalanchoe 'Fantastic'

Kalanchoe ‘Fantastic’ is a variegated spectacle with a kaleidoscope of colours on its large leaves. 

It’s best suited to the warmer climates of Queensland and New South Wales.

This Kalanchoe variety loves bright light, where its pink, white, and green leaves can truly shine, adding a tropical flair to outdoor spaces.


Purple Succulents

Purple succulents offer a striking and regal addition to any plant collection with their rich and vibrant hues. These plants are perfect for adding depth and contrast to gardens and arrangements.


Graptopetalum ‘Superbum’

Graptopetalum 'Superbum'

Graptopetalum ‘Superbum’ displays rosettes of pale purple leaves, offering a subtle hint of colour perfect for softening garden edges or enhancing mixed succulent planters. 

It flourishes in bright, indirect light in many parts of Australia and requires minimal care to maintain its otherworldly beauty.


Purple Heart (Tradescantia pallida)

Purple Heart Tradescantia pallida

Purple Heart is a trailing succulent with striking deep purple leaves and stems, making it a popular choice for hanging baskets and ground cover. 

This plant is native to Mexico and thrives in full sun to partial shade. It requires well-draining soil and regular watering, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.


Red Succulents

Red succulents are perfect for adding a bold and vibrant splash of colour to any garden or indoor plant collection. 

These succulents can range from bright red to deep burgundy, creating a dramatic visual impact.


Crassula ‘Campfire’

Crassula 'Campfire'

Crassula ‘Campfire’ is a fiery spectacle with leaves that transition from green to bright red under the sun. 

Ideal for adding a pop of colour to gardens across Australia, it thrives in well-draining soil and full sun, making it a striking addition to rockeries, containers, and succulent gardens.


Sedum ‘Dragon’s Blood’

sedum dragons blood red succulent

Sedum ‘Dragon’s Blood’ spills over with deep red leaves that intensify in colour with more sunlight.

It’s a ground-covering champion for rock gardens and borders, especially in the cooler climates of Victoria and Tasmania. 

It creates a dense mat of colour that’s both captivating and low-maintenance.


Edible Succulents in Australia

Discover the delicious side of succulents with varieties that offer more than just visual appeal.


Glaucous Pigface (Carpobrotus glaucescens)

This is another Pigface, which derives its name from the Greek words ‘karpos’ (fruit) and ‘brota’ (edible).

These edible plants are Australian native succulents that typically grow in coastal areas.

Carpobrotus glaucescens also produces a vibrant daisy-like flower in a deep pink to purple.

They also bear red berry-like fruits that taste like salty apples, which the natives consume.

The leaves are often roasted and used as a salt substitute, too.


Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)

Purslane Portulaca oleracea

Commonly known as Purslane, Portulaca oleracea is a vibrant and versatile succulent that’s as beautiful as it is edible. 

This succulent is a great ingredient for salads, stews, and soups.

This ground-hugging marvel carpets gardens with a lush layer of green, punctuated by jewel-like flowers that open under the warmth of the sun.

Its leaves are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Purslane leaves add a crunch texture and peppery burst of flavour when added to salads and other dishes.

Tip:  Harvest your Purslane succulents before they flower to retain the flavour.


Samphire (Salicornia Europaea)


Samphire, or Sea Asparagus, is a salty, crunchy succulent that grows in coastal regions across Australia.

This edible plant is often found in Western Australia and South Australia, where it thrives in salty marshes and on seashores.

It requires full sun and well-draining, saline soils, making it a unique addition to Australian edible gardens.


Rare Succulents in Australia

Rare succulents are highly sought after by plant enthusiasts for their unique appearances and the challenge they present in cultivation.


Dinner Plate (Aeonium tabuliforme)

Aeonium tabuliforme, commonly known as the Dinner Plate Aeonium, is a natural work of art.

Its flat, circular rosettes grow almost perfectly symmetrical, resembling a large, green plate stacked with succulent foliage.

Another distinguishing feature is the succulent’s white, hairy leaf edges that add to the overall symmetry of the plant.

Aeonium tabuliforme plants are also pest and disease-free, making them ideal indoor succulents.

This stunning plant prefers the milder coastal climates of Australia, thriving in well-drained soil and partial sun.

Given its unique form, the Dinner Plate is ideal for adding architectural interest to succulent gardens or patios or as an eye-catching centrepiece in container arrangements.


Baby Toes (Fenestraria rhopalophylla)

baby toes

Fenestraria rhopalophylla, or Baby Toes, is a peculiar and enchanting succulent that captures the imagination.

Each leaf resembles a chubby little toe peeking out from sandy soils, adapted to let in light while minimising exposure to the harsh sun.

Native to the arid regions of Africa, Baby Toes is well-suited to the well-drained soils and sunny positions of Australian rockeries or as a fascinating addition to indoor succulent collections.

In spring, they surprise with delicate white or yellow flowers, adding to their charm.


Marble Buttons (Conophytum calculus)

Also known as Living Pebbles or Marble Buttons, Conophytum calculus is a rare and fascinating succulent with a pebble-like appearance.

Perfect for collectors, it thrives in well-draining soil and requires minimal water, simulating its native desert habitat.

This plant is best suited to container gardens where its unique form can be appreciated up close.

Note: Not to be confused with Lithops or Living Stones.


Mottled Spurge or Crested Elkhorn (Euphorbia lactea crested)

Mottled Spurge or Crested Elkhorn

Euphorbia lactea crested, aka Mottled Splure or Elkhorn, is a rare succulent in Australia easily recognisable for its fan-shaped, curled leaf tips.

Despite being a drought-tolerant succulent, this plant needs protection from extreme heat and should be placed in bright, indirect sunlight.

While it’s a showstopper in appearance, you must be careful and avoid its sap, which can be irritating to skin.


Succulent FAQs

It’s never a bad thing to learn more about the plants you want to grow.


How many types of succulents are there in Australia?

There are at least 400 types of succulents in Australia.

Some Australian succulent varieties have common features and grow naturally across the continent.


How do you care for succulent plants in Australia?

Most succulents require watering once fortnightly or when the soil is dry

Some succulents, such as the Australian Pigface and Large-Articled Samphire, may need occasional exposure to sea spray or seawater.


How do I identify my succulent?

Identifying a succulent involves observing several key features of the plant:

  • Leaf shape and texture: Succulents have adapted to store water in their leaves, often giving them a thick, fleshy appearance. Note whether the leaves are smooth, fuzzy, or have spikes.
  • Growth pattern: Some succulents grow in rosettes, while others may trail, spread as ground cover or grow upright.
  • Colour: While many succulents are green, they can also come in shades of red, purple, blue, and even variegated patterns.
  • Flowers: Many succulents bloom, and the colour, shape, and size of the flowers can help with identification.
  • Habitat: Considering where the succulent is naturally found or prefers to grow can also aid identification. Some thrive in full sun, while others prefer shaded areas.


Why are they called succulents?

“Succulents” comes from the Latin word “sucus”, meaning juice or sap. 

This name aptly describes these plants’ defining characteristic: their ability to store water in their thick, fleshy leaves, stems or roots. 


Are cacti succulents?

Yup! All cacti come from the Cactaceae family which are succulents. However, not all succulents are cacti. 

The main difference between cacti and succulents is that cacti tend to have prickles or spines, whereas succulents have smoother leaves.

Some of the most popular cacti in Australia are the Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia), Golden Barrel Cactus (Echinocactus grusonii) and the Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera).

About Author

Jamie Donovan

Jamie is an Australian horticulturalist and landscape designer. He enjoys writing about landscape architecture, garden design and lifestyle topics.


About Author

Jamie Donovan

Jamie is an Australian horticulturalist and landscape designer. He enjoys writing about landscape architecture, garden design and lifestyle topics.