Friday, February 13, 2015

Guttation in Succulents

Fig. 1  Guttation in Succulent Plant:  Leaf margins of Aeonium 'Pinwheel' studded with xylem sap.

Succulents are known for their ability to hold and store large quantities of water for future consumption.  These plants, which are characterized by their  thick succulent leaves, can store large quantities of water resulting in their ability to withstand prolonged dry conditions. These plants are not commonly known to exhibit guttation - the excretion of water from the plant through hydathodes due to certain atmospheric and soil conditions.  The pictures here (Fig. 1, 2, & 3), however, show that these water-thrifty succulents can have too much water. Given the right conditions, succulents undergo guttation.

  Fig. 2  Succulent leaves crowned with beads of guttation fluid.

Fig. 3  Senecio bearing guttation sap.

Plants are amazing creatures.

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