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Jade plant. Picture taken by Emanuelm for Wikipedia.

Mexican Hens. Image GFDL from Topjabot.

Magnified image of leaf.

Mexican Hens (also called Hen and Chicks)

This common house plant is a succulent that has leaves with a waxy coat. Unlike the jade/money plant Crassula ovata (see image in the upper right), the waxes are rough and the surface is superhydrophobic. The difference is visually obvious - the surface of this plant appears to have a white dusting (see the image to the right), whereas that of the jade plant has a deep shine.

The structure of the waxes on these leaves is different to those on the Lotus or the Cabbage. It forms a netlike structure of interwoven ribbons (see the image in the bottom right). This appears to be just as effective as the structure of the Cabbage, but is totally different. The leaves collect some water in the crowns of the plant, which can be seen after watering, and can cause trouble if the water is dirty. For more information click here.