Stolen Succulents Saturday


In China, they are prized for their chubby limbs and cute shapes. In Korea, they are a treasured hobby for housewives. But on the coastal cliffs of California, the dudleya succulent plants are vanishing, snatched up by international smugglers and shipped to an Asian middle-class market hungry for California native flora.

California department of fish and wildlife wardens have made five busts this year, involving more than 3,500 stolen plants, evidence that the succulent, a symbol of American hipster style, has gone global to grievous effect.

“Right now these plants are a boom in Korea, China and Japan. It’s huge among domestic housewives. It’s a status thing,” said the department warden Pat Freeling, who spearheaded the investigation. “It’s become an exotic lotus flower succulent. Someone likened it to the next Pokémon.”

The succulents, dubbed “Live Forevers” by early California explorers for their ability to survive long ocean crossings, require little care and are often mistakenly thought to be ideal for apartment living. Each five-inch plant, with waxy, white-green leaves that grow in bud-like circles, is said to fetch $40 to $50 on the Asian market. While they are not rare in California and can be grown in nurseries, the process takes years. And nursery owners said they were not available in the huge quantities that Asian shippers seem to want.


About Den

Always in search of interesting things to post. Armed with knowledge and dangerous with the ladies.
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7 Responses to Stolen Succulents Saturday

  1. Den says:

    Hen and chicks where I come from, good for flower garden ground filler.


  2. Micki says:

    I read about the succulent smugglers earlier this week when I happened on it at the San Jose Mercury News.

    But, the article didn’t have that beautiful photograph, Den! Nice!

    What the article did have was a comments’ section that made my head spin!

    From what’s the crime here…to “illegal aliens thanks to the Democrats”…. to build a wall and keep them out….to why doesn’t the University of California grow succulents and increase trade with China and Korea….to THIS IS FAKE NEWS…to California is a joke because they’ll let people steal American jobs and let them stay here, but they’ll send smugglers back to where they came from … to Californians will kill babies by aborting them but will save the lives of plants…

    We’re doomed!


  3. David B. Benson says:

    Up to Kimbrough for a performer’s concert and then over to the Tokyo Seoul for a salmon teriyaki bento box dinner, all in 28 minutes.


    • Micki says:

      Including the concert and the bento? 😉


    • David B. Benson says:

      When I left the Tokyo Seoul there was a full arc rainbow to the east so I stick walked clockwise around to the College Hill Climb and Maple Street Extension, up that way to the house.

      Day 7: 267+76=343 minutes, which isn’t bad for not trying.


  4. Den says:

    Doc did it like this guy:


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