“Take-home ideas from my presentation will include combining leafy plants with sculptural succulents to soften the landscape,” says Gatz, and “placing architectural exclamation points with hardscape and potted succulent plants.”

From https://tucson.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/love-succulents-this-tucson-conference-is-for-you/article_85e22321-d75e-58d1-8e5d-321211f67f43.html

How can I interpret “sculptural succulents”? After I looked up “sculptural” in OED and searched the term on google, I still cannot find a definition. What are “sculptural succulents” like?


sculptural, adj.

  1. Of or pertaining to sculpture.
  2. Having the qualities of a piece of sculpture.

As Wikipedia says: In botany, succulent plants, also known as succulents, are plants with parts that are thickened, fleshy and engorged, usually to retain water in arid climates or soil conditions.

As illustrated in the picture below, many of these plants grow into spectacular shapes that resemble sculptures. Hence sculptural succulents.

Sculptural succulents



I think that you can swap it for "decorative succulents" for the same kind of meaning. It is a figure of speech which is gained popularity with horticulture and landscape gardening trade, and which is relatively recent. Google Ngram book viewer finds it in zero books.

It can be, as Ronald suggests plants that look like sculptures, and it can be visually striking plants plants which are used decoratively and for landscape gardening.

Succulent is a convenient name for any plants with fatty leaves.

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