Drought‐tolerant plants are increasingly recognized as a resource to mitigate the consequences
of climate change. Succulent plants use stored water to sustain metabolism
during regular droughts; succulence is a highly successful adaptation that has
evolved in thousands of species throughout the plant kingdom. Desert (xeromorphic)
succulent species are a potentially relevant resource to manage environments and
energy supply in the hottest and driest places. However, many species are threatened
with extinction or could become invasive outside their natural range. This review
highlights research needed to develop desert succulents as a sustainable
resource in a carbon economy.