Which are the most exotic succulents in the world? You'll love each one of them

Succulents are trending all over the world, while some are very common others can be quite the opposite. Read ahead to learn about rare ones.

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Jimena Bolívar

March 30, 2021


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Introduction

Succulents come in a variety of shades, colors, textures types, and even rarity levels. Some of them are so unique and exotic that they can even fetch a high price in the market. These plants are exceptional and hence effortlessly capture the attention of onlookers.

The Ruby Necklace, Little Jewel, Living Rock Cactus, Calico-Hearts, Blue Rose, Moon Cactus, Wine Cup, Basket Ball Plant, Crinkle Leaf Plant, and Pebbled Tiger Jaw are some of the most exotic succulents from around the world.

Let’s have a look at some of the most unusual and alien-looking succulents from around the world. Wine Cup and Moon Cactus are my personal favorite.

What Are Succulents?

Succulents mostly grow in a dry, arid climate, where they have to resist drought. They adapt to their environment by storing water in their leaves, stems, or roots. The plant is usually thick and fleshy because of these factors. At times, these storage mechanisms are guarded by thorns to discourage any thirsty predators from attacking the plant. This survival strategy makes succulents stand apart from other plants.

15 most exotic succulents

1. Othonna Capensis

The Othonna Capensis

  • Scientific name: Othonna capensis or Crassothonna capensis
  • Named by: L.H. Bailey
  • Common names: Little Pickles, Ruby Necklace, Cape aster, Cape Othonna and Bobbejaankool
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • Genus: Crassothonna
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Native to: South Africa
  • Ideal Soil pH: 6.0-6.5
  • Hardiness: USDA Zone 9a to 11

This red and violet beauty is ‘The Ruby Necklace’ from South Africa. The jewel-toned lush green leaves contrast with the bright yellow daisy-like flowers, which bloom from May till June.

Do you want to bring this ruby necklace home? I know a trusted seller who will not disappoint you, here is the link

Fast Growing Ruby Necklace, Fully Rooted in 4 inch Pot with Soil

I wholeheartedly recommend you consider this wonderful plant! It is exotic and unique at the same time!

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2. Pachyphytum Compactum

The Pachyphytum Compactum

  • Scientific name: Pachyphytum Compactum
  • Common names: Little Jewel
  • Family: Crassulaceae
  • Genus: Pachyphytum
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Native Country: Mexico
  • Ideal Soil pH: 5.0 to 7.0
  • Hardiness: USDA Zone 9a to 11b

These small and compact plants contain irregular and distinctive patterns on their short, chubby leaves. The color of the leaves varies between green and grey combined with cream and yellow streaks. Often branched, the succulent has short stouts that grow up to 6 inches long.

3. Sedum Mocinianum

The Sedum Mocinianum

  • Scientific name: Sedum Mocinianum
  • Family: Crassulaceae
  • Genus: Sedum
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Native Country: Mexico
  • Ideal Soil pH: 6.0 to 7.0
  • Hardiness: USDA Zone 9b to 11b

Originating from Mexico, Mocinianum is the most beautiful plant among sedums. It has lush green thick rosettes, which have many tiny hairs covering its skin. These tiny hairs are the reason why it has a bluish touch. When winters arrive, the white, fairy-like flower blooms open, and the red anthers add glitter to gold.

4. Haworthia Truncata v. Maughanii

The Haworthia Truncata V. Maughanii

  • Scientific name: Haworthia Truncata v. Maughanii
  • Family: Asphodelaceae
  • Genus: Haworthia
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Native Country: Africa
  • Ideal Soil pH: 6.5 to 7.0
  • Hardiness: USDA Zone 10 to 11

This plant that has a leather feel is also a native of Africa. Its short thick leaves with unusually flat tips resemble horse teeth. The single-line row arrangement created is its most distinctive characteristic that grabs attention.

5. Adromischus Maculatus

The Adromischus Maculatus

  • Scientific name: Adromischus Maculatus
  • Common names: Chocolate drops and Calico Heart
  • Family: Adromischus Maculatus
  • Genus: Crassulaceae
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Native Country: Southern Africa
  • Ideal Soil pH: 6.0 to 7.0
  • Hardiness: USDA Zone 9b to 11b

The wedged leaves and the brown marbled appearance of this plant have earned it the name ‘Chocolate Drops’ and ‘Calico-Heart’. These small grey-green plants occasionally bloom indoors with tubular flowers that are pinkish-white in color.

6. Echeveria X. Imbricata

The Echeveria X. Imbricata

  • Scientific name: 9b to 11b
  • Family: Crassulaceae
  • Genus: Echeveria
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Native Country: Mexico, Central America and South America
  • Ideal Soil pH: 6.5 to 7.0
  • Hardiness: USDA Zone 8 to 12

This Mexican succulent with bluish-green fleshy leaves which are shaped like saucers, is also known as ‘The Blue Rose’. The small evergreen leaves hug the center creating overlapping circles. This rosette formation is beautiful, and it certainly makes the succulent attention-grabbing.

7. Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii

The Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii

  • Scientific name: Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii or Echinocactus mihanovichii
  • Named by: Robert Louis August Maximilian Gürke
  • Family: Cactaceae
  • Genus: Gymnocalycium
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Native Country: Paraguay and Argentina
  • Ideal Soil pH: 6.8 to 7.2
  • Hardiness: USDA Zone 11 to 12

My favorite is the Moon Cactus. This plant has red, yellow, and orange pigmentation in varying degrees, making it an absolute treat to set your gaze upon. The green-grey spherical bottom is broad, with narrow edges marked with a notch. This South American cactus grows yellowish-orange funnel flowers.

I have made this succulent a part of my garden. You can get yours here

Gymnocalycium Saglione in 2-inch Pot

I recommend this beautiful cactus which is a brother of the Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii plant and will beautify any space you choose to place it in!

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8. Haworthia Cuspidata Variegata

The Haworthia Cuspidata Variegata

  • Scientific name: Haworthia Cuspidata
  • Common name: Star Window Plant
  • Family: Asphodelaceae
  • Genus: Haworthia
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Native Country: Cape Province and South Africa
  • Ideal Soil pH: 6.5 to 7.5
  • Hardiness: USDA Zone 10a to 11b

These star-shaped plants can appear in a range of bright green and dark green. This South African plant has pointed leaves, as the word ‘cuspidatus’ suggests.

9. Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’

The Aeonium

  • Scientific name: Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop
  • Family: Crassulaceae
  • Genus: Aeonium
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Native Country: Canary Island
  • Ideal Soil pH: 6.1 to 6.5
  • Hardiness: USDA Zone 4 to 9

Aeoniums are giant daisies with fleshy petals in green, yellow, and garnet colors. Let me introduce you to the show stopper enchantress ‘Zwartkop’ in magenta-black color. On the top of the spiky stem, delicate pretty flowers gather together to add to its beauty.

Did it grab your attention? If you’re interested in purchasing it, I recommend you get it from a trustworthy seller.

Aeonium Haworthii Cuttings

I recommend you go over to this link and purchase these awesome cuttings that can easily be adjusted within your home!

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10. Crassula Umbella

The Crassula Umbella

  • Scientific name: Crassula Umbella
  • Common name: Wine cup
  • Family: Crassulaceae
  • Genus: Crassula
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Native Country: South Africa
  • Ideal Soil pH: 6.5 to 7.0
  • Hardiness: USDA Zone 9a to 11b

‘The Wine Cup’ is a perfect blend of round structured leaves which are fused with branchless erect stems. The green leaf with a striking red bottom has a very classy look. This exotic succulent is pleasing to one’s eye.

Warning!

Crassula Umbella is easy to grow. Although, they are very likely to get affected by mealybugs and fungal disease. That shouldn't stop you from adopting them. If it does (or you fear it may ever happen to you), take a look at this post on How to Kill Mealybugs

11. Pleiospilos Nelii

The Pleiospilos Nelii

  • Scientific name: Pleiospilos Nelii
  • Common name: Split Rock
  • Family: Aizoaceae
  • Genus: Pleiospilos
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Native Country: South Africa
  • Ideal Soil pH: 6.0 to 7.0
  • Hardiness: USDA Zone 9 to 11

Another species from South Africa is called ‘Split Rocks’, which resemble Lithops. This plant has a pair of green leaves with a cleft separating the two. The dark spots and irregular arrangement is why it’s called Split Rocks. It smells like a coconut when the large yellowish-orange or white-pink daisies bloom.

12. Sempervivum Calcareum

The Sempervium

  • Scientific name: Sempervivum Calcareum
  • Common name: Grigg’s Surprise
  • Family: Crassulaceae
  • Genus: Sempervivum
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Native Country: Southern Alps in Europe
  • Ideal Soil pH: 6.0 to 7.0
  • Hardiness: USDA Zone 4 to 9

Similar to ‘Echeveria.’ This cactus flashes its beautiful flowers. Although they look alike, sempervivum enjoys winters, while echeveria detests cold. One has smooth flesh, and the other has tender meat.

This succulent can’t wait to bloom at your place.

Sempervivum Calcareum Tectorum Houseleek (4 inch pot)

I wholeheartedly recommend this exotic succulent as it can make any space look more beautiful!

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13. Euphorbia Obesa

The Euphorbia Obese

  • Scientific name: Euphorbia Obesa
  • Common name: Baseball plant
  • Family: Euphorbiaceae
  • Genus: Euphorbia
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Native Country: South Africa
  • Ideal Soil pH: 6.0 to 7.0
  • Hardiness: USDA Zone 9 to 10

Originating from Africa, this spherical succulent is called ‘The Basket Ball Plant’ Surrounded by many male flowers, the female flower contains a milky white, latex-covered sap. The little ones have tiny hairy bracts with yellow pollen surrounding them. When in full sun, it appears purplish-brown.

14. Adromischus Cristatus

The Adromischus Cristatus

  • Scientific name: Adromischus cristatus
  • Common name: The Crinkle Leaf Plant
  • Family: Crassulaceae
  • Genus: Adromischus
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Native Country: South Africa
  • Ideal Soil pH: 6.0 to 7.0
  • Hardiness: USDA Zone 9 to 10

The fleshy grey-green leaves earned it the title of ‘The Crinkle Leaf Plant.’ The triangular leaf gets crinkled at the top as it grows upwards from the center. In spring, red-white tubular flowers pop their heads out from the tall stems of this hairy plant.

15. Faucaria Tigrina

The Faucaria Tigrina

  • Scientific name: Faucaria Tigrina
  • Common name: Tiger’s Jaw
  • Family: Aizoaceae
  • Genus: Faucaria
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Native Country: South Africa
  • Ideal Soil pH: 6.5 to 7.5
  • Hardiness: USDA Zone 9 to 11

The Pebbled Tiger Jaws called Faucaria Tigrina has white pointed speckled edges which are fang-like. It has earned this name because of the oval fleshy leaves whose shape resembles that of canines. When this African plant blooms, large yellow flowers develop.

Isn’t it eye-catching? You should consider getting the seeds of this plant! The Tigrina will be another great addition to your garden.

Faucaria Tigrina In 4 Inch Pot

I recommend this succulent if you want something unique in your home!

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Identifying These Succulents

I have compiled together the shape, growth habits, and unique characteristics of the enlisted succulents in a table to make it easy for you to choose which ones of these stunning plants you would like to bring home.

Succulents Shape Growth Habits Unique Characteristics
Othonna Capensis pickle shaped grown in spiral patterns ruby-red color in sunlight
Pachyphytum Compactum grape shaped slow-growing grey-blue jewel-like leaves
Sedum Mocinianum compact with oval-shaped leaves fast-growing super thick glossy leaves
Haworthia Truncata V. Maughaii horse-teeth grows in the shade of bushes unique leaves that look like horse teeth
Adromischus Maculatus drop Shaped 2-3 new leaves every year leaves resembling a chocolate drop
Echevia X. Imbricate rose-shaped slow-growing showy every-green leaves
Gymnocalycium Mihanovichi broad-spherical grow up to only 1-1/2 inch lack of chlorophyll
Haworthua Cuspidata Variegate loose rosette offsets freely to form clusters wide variation in leaves
Aeonium daisy-shaped grows about 3 feet tall monocarpic
Crassula ‘Umbella’ umbrella-shaped grows up to 3 inches unbranched stem
Pleiospilos Nelii egg-shaped new leaves grow at a right angle to splits stem less
Sempervivum star-shaped spreads rapidly narrow and point
Euphorbia Obesa spherical becomes taller with age look like a basketball
Adromischus Cristatus triangular grows upward out of a central base fuzzy appearance
Faucaria Tigrina fang-shaped less growing reaches only 15 cm soft teeth-like edges

Conclusion

Some exotic succulents include The Ruby Necklace, Little Jewel, Living Rock Cactus, Calico-Hearts, Blue Rose, Moon Cactus, Wine Cup, Basket Ball Plant, Crinkle Leaf Plant, and Pebbled Tiger Jaw.

Are you planning to welcome one of these stunning plants to your garden? You might also like to visit our excellent post about the type of succulents

Jimena Bolívar Picture

By Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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Jimena Bolívar Picture

Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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