What Are the Top 20 Nicknames of Succulents?

by Lynn KirkSep 24, 2021

20 nicknames of succulents


Just as a person’s nickname gives clues about quirks and kooky looks, many succulents’ common names offer up tips about the plant itself. So, what are the top 20 nicknames of succulents?

  1. Ball Cactus (Parodia magnifica). You guessed it: This cactus is as round as a ball and just as big — sometimes as much as two feet wide! However, kicking is not recommended, for this “ball” produces column after column of ready-to-strike spikes.
  2. Blue Chalk Sticks (Senecio serpens). Wow, this one’s blue-green leaves resemble sticks of chalk due to its protective (glaucous) coating. It’s a dwarf that trails, so definitely a got-to-have groundcover.
  3. Burros’ Tail or Donkey Tail (Sedum morganianum). This nickname is a no brainer. The plant’s leafed stems dangle down from containers and hanging baskets, seemingly swishing in the breeze like the tail of its four-legged namesake.
  4. Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii). Prickly, winding stems bring to mind the crown of thorns of biblical renown. Its brilliant red blooms continue the theme, suggesting the blood that flowed. In other cultures, legend suggests that the plant’s caretaker can base his future on the number of blooms.
  5. Fairy Wings (Aeonium decorum). Ah, such delicate pinwheel leaves that swirl as if winged for flight. Fuchsia edging along leaf tips add to its fanciful allure.
  6. Flaming Katy (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana). The fiery-orange brilliance of this Kalanchoe’s four-petal blooms resembles hot ashes of a blazing fire. It’s also known as Widow’s-Thrill (reason unknown?).
  7. Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum tectorum). Just like a hen with her cluck of chicks, this succulent produces lots of babes (a.k.a., “chicks”). It’s a great addition to outdoor areas, for it produce more chicks in no time.
  8. Jade (Crassula ovata). This always-popular succulent shares the coloring of the precious stone by the same name. It supposedly shares the same benefits, too, like wisdom and good fortune.
  9. Ladyfinger cactus (Mammillaria elongate). Long, finger-like stems rise up from the center of this one. Even eerier, they’re covered (COVERED!) with delicately spiked spines.
  10. Panda (Kalanchoe tomentosa). Soft-fuzz leaves make the petite panda seem as cuddly as its counterpart. Rusty-brown markings dot the leaf’s edge and add to its charm. It’s also called chocolate soldier.
  11. Pig’s Ear (Cotyledon orbiculta). Ever seen a pig’s ear up close? It’s thick and oval-shaped, just like these leaves. But unlike piggy wiggly, this one has a bit of class because it produces red and yellow flowers that droop down from atop four-foot-high stems.
  12. Pincushion Cactus (Mammillaria crinita). Pointy spikes intertwine this cactus like a web of silk. And they’re as sharp as pins, too!
  13. Plush (Echeveria pulvinate). This one’s covered in fine hairs almost seem plush. Silvery leaves, often tipped in magenta, are complemented by vibrant orange-yellow blooms.
  14. Roseum (Sedum spurium). This sedum’s rosette shape brings to mind the traditional rose. And when the leaf edges take on a deep pink coloring, the resemblance only grows.
  15. Snake (Sansevieria trifasciata). It’s not hard to figure out the reason for this common name. Wide blades of variegated green leaves, edged in a pale yellow, seem ready to slither through the grass.
  16. Stonecrop (Sedum). Whether creeping sedum or tall sedum, this plant’s named for where it likes to grow: along rocks and stones. Some are traditional greens, while others boast blues, silvers, or pinks.
  17. Sunburst (Aeonium davidbramwellii). The rosette mimics a child’s sketch of the sun with rays extending out boldly from a central core. Also nicknamed the copper pinwheel, it bears tri-color leaves in variegated yellow, white, and green.
  18. Torch (Aloe aristata). Like long, slender torches rising to the sky, this aloe’s spear-like leaves reach upward … sometimes as high as ten feet! They start off light gray-green in the shade but turn darker when exposed to the sun. Flower-bearing stems grow some ten feet tall and produce orange blooms that light up the torches.
  19. Whale’s Tongue (Agave ovatifolia). Long-bladed leaves with serrated edges bring to mind the tongue of a whale. They’re a whale of a size, too, extending five feet tall and six feet wide! On top of that, lower spikes tower over the plant some 10 to 14 feet.
  20. Zebra (Haworthia fasciata). Just like the animal of the same name, the zebra wears ringed, white stripes. Watch for bright yellow, cone-shaped blooms that make it a real show-stopper!   

So whether you call your plants by their common name or botanical classification, call on SUCCULENT MARKET as your provider. They’ve nurtured familiar to specialty succulents for decades, so they know how to propagate them … how to nurture them … and how to ship them.