Mexican Hens plant

Echeveria shaviana
Image courtesy of Jean-Michel Moullec – Flickr, Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0

Echeveria shaviana is a common houseplant, more commonly called the Mexican Hen plant. It is a succulent that has leaves with a rough waxy coating that appears as a white dusting. The coating renders the surface superhydrophobic.

The structure of the waxes on the leaves of Mexican Hens and other succulents is different to those on the Lotus or the Cabbage. It forms a net-like structure of interwoven ribbons (see below). 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.

Magnified image of Mexican Hens leaf