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A family of dicotyledonous plants in the order Rosales notable for their succulent leaves and resistance to desiccation.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a family of dicotyledonous plants including herbs, subshrubs, and dwarf shrubs. The plants usually have succulent stems and fleshy leaves. The flowers have a double perianth and are regular and most often bisexual; they usually are four- or five-parted and gathered cymose inflorescences. The sepals and petals are usually free. The fruit is usually multiple. Most species are succulents—that is, they are adapted to life in arid or waterless regions. Many reproduce vegetatively, for example, by axillary buds or by leaf or stem cuttings. Some are viviparous.

There are as many as 35 genera, embracing about 1,400 species. Most are commonly found in southern Africa, Mexico, and the Mediterranean region, chiefly in arid, rocky places. The USSR has about 120 species, mainly of the genera Sedum, Rosularia, and Rhodiola. Many Crassulaceae, particularly those of the genera Echeveria, Crassula, and Sempervivum, are often cultivated as ornamentals.


Borisova, A. G. “Tolstiankovye—Crassulaceae DC.” In Flora SSSR, vol. 9. Moscow-Leningrad, 1939.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.