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Succulents - those hardy, moisture-retaining plants that come in different colors, forms and varieties - take over the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens beginning Saturday.
The annual show, designed by gardeners Julie Hughes and Teresa Mazikowski, debuted last year and quickly proved a success, drawing more visitors than some more established shows, said Erin Grajek, the marketing director.
"Succulents are pretty sexy right now. People are using them in container gardening, they're really easy to take care of, and they make cool gifts," Grajek said.
"They are so colorful and surprising in their detail. When you get closer to them, every one is visibly different."
The hundreds of varieties on display - many of them native to warmer climates in South and Central America and Africa - also will be presented as rich tapestries configured into the shapes of a woman, a mushroom and amphibians, as well as decorating mirrors and a tribute to Buffalo.
Gardener Julie McDonald said succulents are ideal for people who tend to be negligent in taking care of plants because they are tough and able to go without water for longer periods and they root easily.
She said they're also growing in popularity.
"In the last couple of years, I've seen a trend where a lot more people are incorporating succulents into their outside gardens," McDonald said.
Plants will be arranged in containers to give showgoers ideas of what to do at home. Some also will be for sale.
The show runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Oct. 7. Admission is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors and students, and $5 for kids 3 to 12.
Also Saturday, the D'Youville College School of Pharmacy and Mercy Hospital will join the Botanical Gardens and its Medicinal Garden in highlighting Cholesterol Awareness Month with free cholesterol screenings from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The fall plant sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 21 and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 22.

email: msommer@buffnews.com