During evolution, many species have adapted to dry and arid environments by developing the ability to store water in their stems, leaves, or underground organs. These succulents can be found in a wide range of plant families.
The Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants, consisting of six volumes, covers over 9000 taxa of succulents (excluding cacti). In addition to the volumes on Monocotyledons and Dicotyledons, separate volumes are devoted to those families with predominantly succulent members, which show an especially great diversity, namely Aizoaceae, Asclepiadaceae and Crassulaceae. Following an alphabetical listing of families, genera and species, detailed descriptions are given, including the taxonomy with synonyms, data on the distribution and ecology, references, and keys to genera, species or subspecies. Over 2000 superb colour photographs complete this inventory of succulent plants.