succulent stems & leaves




pronounced: eye-zoh-AY-see-eye

the fig-marigold family

Aizoaceae is derived from the Greek αειζωων (aeizoon), ever-living. Most of the members are succulents or semi-succulents, and thus appear always to be living. The vast majority are endemic to arid or semi-arid parts of southern Africa, but a few occur in the central Pacific region and in Australia. The leaves are simple, opposite, alternate or whorled, more-or-less succulent and usually with entire margins (although a few are toothed). Flowers are bisexual in most species, radial, and solitary or borne in cymose inflorescences. There are 3 – 8 sepals (but typically 5), more-or-less fused below. True petals are absent, although some species have linear petals derived from staminodes. The fruit is a capsule with one to many seeds per cell.

Photograph © Donald Simpson 2012