The Echeveria cactus is a rosette-forming succulent plant with foliage that comes in a variety of shapes and colors. The flowers appear on the top of stalks that grow from between the leaves.

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The echeveria, a rosette forming cactus, are succulent plants with foliage that comes in a variety of shapes and colors.
Echeveria species. See more pictures of cacti.

The plant does not die after it has bloomed as do plants that have flowers which develop from the center growing point. Echeverias are natives of Mexico, Central, and South America.

Echeverias need bright light, heavy soil and excellent drainage. When grown in soilless mixes, they grow large and lush and lose their color and character. Many of the plants have a waxy sheen on their leaves. When they are watered over the top, the water collects in drops and spots the leaves when it dries. These spots are especially noticeable when the water is high in minerals. Drench and let dry. Water from below.

Echeverias come from higher altitudes so give them dry air, cool night temperatures and good air circulation. As with other members of the crassula family (crassulas, kalanchoes, sedums, sempervivums, etc.), they reproduce easily from leaf cuttings.

Atanasio Echeverria, the Mexican botanical artist, drew thousands of illustrations of Mexican plants collected by Martin Sesse and Jose Mocino in the last years of the eighteenth century. The original drawings are now lost, but in 1820, the botanist Alphonse De Candolle was so impressed with them that he hired 120 draftsmen to work ten days straight to make tracings. In 1837, De Candolle honored Echeverria by naming the Echeveria after him.

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Caring for your cactus: