Green, Purple, Dusty Succulent Plant
I found the plant attached to its stem, along with one other one identical to it.
It was coming off of a tall stone wall. Refer to Picture 1 for its location. The plant was attached to the stone structure on the right side of the top of the stairs. I would assume this succulent is an air plant. My professor also tried to help me identify it by suggesting names like "Piante Grasse" or "Fat plant".
Location: Viale Niccolo Machiavelli / Piazzale Galileo, Florence, Italy. It was in the park with stairs visible between the pizzale round about and the Viale Niccolo Machiavelli below it. I discovered it early September.
Pictures 2 through 4 are all images of the plant itself.
The way it looks in the pictures is the same way it looked when I found it on the wall. I took it for a college project I am working on. I just thought it was a flower, until I did more research I did not realize how complex this plant is. I have no idea what to do with it to preserve it and keep it alive. I have been keeping in in the sunlight and I have the stem resting in a pile of damp paper cloth. Do you have any suggestions?
Let me know if you need any other information.
I hope you can identify.
Thank you so much! Ciao!
Drought Smart Plants reply:
Your plant is most likely a Graptopetalum, of which there are many different types. Given the fact that you found it growing in a wall, it was probably either a single leaf dropped by a bird or even a seed brought in by the wind from a plant somewhere close by (on a balcony, perhaps?).
You can safely plant it - use a dry potting soil, such as that used for growing cactus in, or regular potting soil with extra perlite, turkey grit or pumice mixed in. They like a lean soil, and when watering, give it a thorough dousing, then allow it to dry out almost completely before watering again. There is no need to fertilize, as these plants all prefer very little nutrition.
This page on succulent plants has more information that might help you, and as these plants are so similar to Echeveria, this page on how to grow Echeveria will give you some guidelines.
Good luck with your great find, and please don't hesitate to ask if you have any other questions!