Mexican ‘Hens and Chicks’

Echeveria schaviana is a common houseplant, also called ‘Hen and Chicks’. It 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 below), 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.

Further Information

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