MARTYN F. CHILLMAID / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARTYN F. CHILLMAID / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sedum plants have evolved in exposed conditions where soil is very well drained and dried by sun and wind. They store water in stems and leaves and are very drought tolerant. The leaves have a waxy covering (cuticle) to retain water and also use CAM (crassulacean acidic metabolism). Excess oxygen is released and carbon dioxide (CO2) is absorbed through the stomata at night, not daytime, to reduce water loss by evaporation. The CO2 is converted to malic acid and then converted back to be photosynthesised in daylight. Only the Crassulaceae family of plants (which include sedums) use this process. Origin Turkey and western Asia.
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