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Products > Echeveria gigantea
Echeveria gigantea - Giant Hens and Chicks
Image of Echeveria gigantea
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Crassulaceae (Stonecrops)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Rose
Bloomtime: Fall/Winter
Height: <1 foot
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Cool Sun/Light Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25° F
Echeveria gigantea (Giant Hens and Chicks) - A large plant in the Gibbiflorae group of Echeveria that rises up on unbranched stems to 18 inches and has 2 foot wide open rosettes of large broad spoon-shaped green to gray-green leaves that have a slightly wavy apex and reddish margin; older leaves flush purple to pink. It bears the tallest of all Echeveria inflorescences with a 3 to 6 foot, usually unbranched, inflorescence holding nodding rose-red flowers in late fall through early winter. Plant in full coastal sun to light shade in a well-drained soil and irrigate occasionally to regularly. This plant proved hardy to 25° F in the cold winter of 2007 but is possibly hardier as it comes from 7-8,000 feet in elevation where is grows on dry walls and limestone ridges in southern Puebla south into Oaxaca. This species in the Gibbiflorae group was first collected near San Luis Atolotitlán (formerly called San Luis Tultitlanapa) in 1907 by Carl Albert Purpus, who is credited with discovering more Echeveria than nearly any other botanist. It was described in 1910 by Purpus and the Dr. Joseph Nelson Rose, botanist curator at the Smithsonian and National Herbarium and introduced into cultivation shortly thereafter by Dr. Rose. The genus Echeveria was named to honor Mexican botanical artist Atanasio Echeverría y Godoy in 1828 by the French botanist Augustin Pyramus de Candolle (DeCandolle) who was very impressed with Echeverría's drawings. Echeverría had accompanied the the Sessé and Mociño expedition (led by Martin de Sessé y Lacasta and Mariano Mociño Suárez de Figueroa) while exploring Mexico and northern Central America and had produced thousands of botanical illustrations. The specific epithet is in reference to how large this plant is compared to other Echeveria. The genus Echeveria is a member of the large Crassula family (Crassulaceae), which has about 1,400 species in 33 genera with worldwide distribution. Echeveria, with approximately 180 species, are native to mid to higher elevations in the Americas with the main distribution in Mexico and central America but with one species found from as far north as southern Texas and several species occurring as far south as Bolivia, Peru and possibly Argentina. The book "The genus Echeveria" by John Pilbeam (published by the British Cactus and Succulent Society, 2008) is an excellent source of information on the species and "Echeveria Cultivars" by Lorraine (AKA Rudolf) Schulz and Attila Kapitany (Schulz Publishing, 2005) has beautiful photos and great information on the cultivars and hybrids. It has been argued by some that the correct pronunciation for the genus is ek-e-ve'-ri-a, though ech-e-ver'-i-a seems in more prevalent use in the US. Our plants were propagated from seed of isolated plants grown at our nursery that were grown from seed reportedly collected near Tejupan, southeast of Huajuapan de Leon. 

This information about Echeveria gigantea displayed on this web page is based on research we have conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations we have made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens visited, as well how our crops have performed in containers in the nursery field. Where appropriate, we will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share cultural information that would aid others in growing this plant.