When is a succulent not a succulent?

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wildedges
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When is a succulent not a succulent?

Post by wildedges » Tue May 04, 2021 11:22 pm

I was out exploring the RSPB nature reserve near Newport this weekend and found a patch of waste ground under a pylon which had a few interesting little plants growing amongst rocks that were probably clinker from the old power station. Not a lot was growing there but you can see rabbit fur stuck to the plant in the photo so the poor soil probably isn't the only reason. We've had a very dry spring though so everything was very stunted.
The reason for my question was that I found this small plant with fleshy tri-lobed leaves that reminded me of a saxifrage. Googling ''succulent saxifrage' was no use but I eventually tracked it down as Saxifraga tridactylites, the rue-leaved saxifrage. Apparently it's not a succulent but does have fleshy leaves and I probably have succulent plants that have less flesh to their leaves. It just made me curious where the line is drawn.
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eduart
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Re: When is a succulent not a succulent?

Post by eduart » Wed May 05, 2021 2:50 am

Ohhh, there's no definite limit IMHO. It's a question to ask to high-flying botanists (if you think they know). They get off easily by using vague terms like fleshy or sub-succulent. Most (and I mean almost all) plants have succulent tissue at least at a certain stage of their existence. Is the watermellon a succulent plant? I guess not - but the mellon contains almost entirely water. Its thought is to allow the seeds to germinate with plenty of water available. It's a complicated question...
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Acid John
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Re: When is a succulent not a succulent?

Post by Acid John » Wed May 05, 2021 9:38 am

A succulent is something that is still alive when you return from a long holiday in summer.
As for Melons I think the water is to attract seed dispersing animals that will poo the seeds out undamaged further away.
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