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We’ve all heard of drought-tolerant plants, but Eric Carroll and Richard Turner of Desert Steel Co. have done nature one better. They’ve created stunning steel succulents that require no water or maintenance and are impervious to bugs, birds and disease. “We wanted our pieces to be stylized interpretations, but to have enough detail to convey the complexity of the real thing,” Carroll says. After cutting out patterns using a computerized plasma metal-cutting machine, the Kansas artisans hand-fold, hand-roll and weld the works of art — towering saguaros, squat barrel cactuses, paddle-shaped prickly pears, serpentine agaves — which now “grow” in 36 states and 11 countries. The surprisingly lifelike pieces are available in verdigris, rust and stainless finishes, and may be customized with extra arms and/or blooms. They also can be rigged with lights that shine long into the night or be equipped with misters for withering summer days. desertsteel.net