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Succulent Plant History and Distribution
In the fifteenth century famous explorers like Vasco daOld World Map Gama and Bartholomeu Dias collected succulents (Aloes, Haworthia, Stapelia and many others from Africa and Caralluma and Euphorbia from India) during their exploratory trips to find a new trade route to India.
The Dutch East India Company was responsible for collecting many succulent species for the Holland government. Many of the succulents collected by the Dutch East India Company found their way to the Royal Botanical Gardens at Yew.
In the centuries to come many explorers, missionaries and botanists would collect and discover numerous species from Africa, the Americas, India and Madagascar. Even today new species are being discovered.
Succulents are found in many countries all over the world.
Knowledge of the plants habitat will greatly increase the successful propagation of your plants.
- Northern Europe is home to a few species (Sempervivum, Sedum), these plants have evolved not due to lack of water but due to the poor rocky soil and strong winds that occur in the region. The temperate southern parts of Europe have a few succulent species (Caralluma europea).
- China and Japan are home to Orostachys and Sedum.
- Australia has a few succulent species, notably Hoya, the mesembs Psilicaulon, Carpobrotus, etc and its bottle-trees, Brachychiton.
- The Americas are well known for its cacti but some well known succulents occur here as well. The Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia), the century plant (Agave), Dudleya, Sedum and several other genus are found in the Americas. Jatropha species are found in the US and West Indies.
- Aeonium species are to be found on the Canary Islands. Madagascar has many popular species, which includes Pachypodium, Adansonia and Euphorbia.
- The African continent has a diverse succulent population with the majority of succulent species occurring in Africa. Aloes, mesembs, asclepiads and many more succulent species grow in abundance here.
- The beautiful genus Hoya has quite a widespread distribution, these plants occur in Australia, Borneo, Cambodia, Celebes, China, Fiji, India, Java, Laos, Malacca, Malaysia, Philippines, New Guinea, Thailand, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Sumatra, Vietnam.
which are the plants rainy and dry seasons and how much rainfall occurs will give you a guideline on when and how much to water your plants.
the type of soil it grows in. Loamy, grity, sandy, alkaline, acidic - will aid you in mixing an appropriate type of soil.
the maximum and minimum temperatures, does it prefer shade or sun?, will let you choose an ideal spot for it and help you determine how hardy it is (to the cold and heat).