Plants may be evergreen or deciduous. Flowers on short stalks (cymes) arise from compact rosettes of succulent fleshy, often brightly coloured leaves. Species are polycarpic, meaning that they may flower and set seed many times over the course of their lifetimes. Often numerous offsets are produced, and are commonly known as "hen and chicks", which can also refer to other genera, such as Sempervivum, that are significantly different from Echeveria. Many species of Echeveria serve important environmental roles, such as those of host plants for butterflies. For example, the butterfly Callophrys xami uses several species of Echeveria, such as Echevelia gibbiflora, for suitable host plants. Even more, these plants are integral to the oviposition process of C. xami and some other butterfly species as well.