A family of usually succulent herbs or low shrubs, related to the Rosaceae, in which the flowers are regular and usually pentamerous, with the stamens alternating with the petals or twice their number. The carpels are usually free, forming follicles (or a capsule) in the fruit. They show unusual (crassulacean) respiratory metabolism. Many are cultivated, especially Sedum and Sempervivum species (stonecrops, house leeks). There are 33 genera, with about 1300 species. Most occur in dry, warm, temperate regions, but they are cosmopolitan.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.