Echeveria Ebony and Lipstick often get confused as their appearance can be quite similar, especially when both plants are fully coloured up. But there are subtle differences that help distinguish which is which.
Ebony vs Lipstick- Colour
While Ebony and Lispstick can look the same because of their pointy leaves and coloured margins once you look closely, the differences are easy to see.
The overall leaf colour of Echeveria Ebony is green-grey. This colour is dominant during the warmer months. With Echeveria Lipstick, the leaves are a more vibrant green. When put side by side, the difference is easy to spot.
When it comes to margins and colour that makes these two plants so desirable, there is a visible contrast as well and will become very obvious in more mature plants. Ebony’s edge colour, when really stressed, is almost black, hence the name. It is considerably darker than Lipsticks’ edge, which is a bright red colour.
There are times when Ebony’s edge colour can look more bright red rather than dark burgundy and that is when the plant is only starting to show its colours in winter. Most succulents lose their bright colours in the warmer months and then again gain them when stressed by the cold and other factors. In our video and photos, the edges look very similar in colour, but once Ebony is stressed the difference is stark. It is quite natural for succulents to change colour throughout the year.
Ebony vs Lipstick- Leaf Shape
Although both Ebony and Lipstick have pointy leaves that do very much look alike, close up, differences can be spotted.
Echeveria Ebony tends to have shorter, wider and thicker leaves than those of Echeveria Lipstick that, in comparison, are longer, thinner and narrower.
Ebony vs Lipstick- Size
Ebony and Lipstick are quite similar in size. Both can reach approximately 15cm in height and 15-20cm in diameter.
Lipstick is the more vigorous grower of the two and usually reaches around 20cm wide more than Ebony.
For both, to reach full size the plants will need to be re-potted into a larger pot every growing season.
Ebony vs Lipstick- Offsets
This can be a big tell-tale sign as unlike Ebony, Lipstick readily produces a good round of offsets every spring. Ebony mostly grows as a solitary rosette and rarely has any offsets.
Ebony vs Lipstick- Price
It is considerably cheaper to buy Echeveria Lipstick than it is to buy Ebony. While most succulents (and other plants) are now mass produced via tissue culture, in the early days, before tissue culture production caught up with demand, Ebony was much harder to reproduce than Lipstick, which affected the prices.
Because Lipstick grows offsets, it is a lot easier to propagate. Ebony, on the other hand, is not. The prices have come down quite a lot since these plants first became available- all thanks to the wonders of tissue culture. However, the price difference between the two still remains, possibly because Ebony is perceived to be the rarer plant (due to its inability to grow offsets).
We have a full article on Echeveria Ebony here, if you’re interested in learning how to successfully grow this gorgeous succulent.