ELEGANS  Rose, 1905   (engl./ fr.)

Synonyms :

Echeveria perelegans  Berger (1930)
Echeveria potosina  Walther (1935) 
Echeveria elegans var. kesselringiana  Poellnitz (1936)
Echeveria albicans  Walther (1958)
Echeveria elegans var. hernandonis  Walther (1972)
Echeveria elegans var. tuxpanensis  Walther (1972)


Series Urbiniae


Type : Rose 960. Collected in the mountains above Pachuca in 1901. US 399884.


Etymology : Referring to the elegant appearance.


Distribution: Mexico (Hidalgo, San Luis Potosi, Guanajuato, Querétaro, Puebla, Jalisco?)



First Description by Rose in Britton & Rose, North American Flora, 22: 22. 1905 :


Leaves numerous, in cultivated specimens 80 - 100, in wild specimens fewer and smaller, in both forming a very compact rosette, very glaucous, of a pale bluish-green colour, very turgid, the margins translucent or in wild specimens reddish, 3 cm long in wild specimens, to 5 - 6 cm in cultivated specimens, 2.5 cm broad near the apex, rounded at apex, except the central ones, and these mucronate-tipped.


Flowering branches 10 - 20 cm long, pinkish, with 8 - 12 pinkish leaves.


Flowers 5 - 7 in a secund raceme, sepals bright-coloured, very unequal, often toothed near the base, ascending, not appressed to the corolla, buds broadly oblong in outline, acutish, corolla 10 mm long, its segments distinct nearly to the base, pinkish with yellow spreading tips, but connivent in age, stamens all borne on the corolla, attached just above its base, 2/3 its length, scales broad, carpels distinct, tapering into slender styles.


Cytology : n = 31, 32, 34, 60, 62-63, 96, 120-130.


Link to short descriptions in English and French. 




E. elegans is a species that is both popular and variable, leading to the publication of several weak taxa which mainly differ in such minor characters as leaf-shape and -size, sepal expansion and corolla colour (petal tips from yellowish to greenish) and are placed here in synonymy.

 Unfortunately these now obsolete names are still cherished in private as well as in public collections, producing much confusion because usually applied to the wrong plants.


- What is in circulation as E. potosina is a freely offsetting plant – but the description of E. potosina clearly states that this is a plant with few or no offsets. Therefore the photo in Pilbeam, The genus Echeveria, p. 106, Fig. 117, 2008, showing a heavily clustering plant, is wrong.


- The same applies to E. albicans, the plants distributed with this name do not correspond to the original description. 


- E. potosina and E. albicans are so close to E. elegans that they do not represent distinct species but only variations of a variable species.


- E. elegans var. hernandonis : In his Review of Walther's Echeveria monograph 1972 Moran wrote : "The new E. elegans var. hernandonis does not appear to differ from the typical variety." 


- E. elegans var. kesselringiana is not a synonym of E. albicans as Walther claimed and all subsequent authors have adopted, it is in fact the only plant of this complex really distinctly different from the type and deserving at least varietal rank. 


In habitat - Querétaro :

Guanajuato :

Photos Gerhard Köhres

San Luis Atolotitlan, Puebla :

Photo Alfredo Lau

In cultivation : 

Photo Philip Greswell

Photo Eduardo Carbonell

Photo Karine Leblanc

Plants cultivated in a rockery in Basque Country, France, zone 9.

2 forms of Echeveria elegans :
Photos Emmanuelle Aubé

Photos Santino Rischitelli

A variegated form :

Photo Leo Gonzalez

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