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Houseleeks

12 Jun 2011

This page: Introduction - Flowers - Sempervivum and Jovibarba book - Sempervivums CD
 

Introduction

Houseleeks
Introduction >
Cultivation
Pests
References

Sempervivum species
Sempervivum cultivars

Jovibarba species
Jovibarba cultivars

Rosularia

Fernwood Nursery

 

Sempervivum, Jovibarba, Rosularia
Plant Heritage (NCCPG) National Collection® Holders

Sempervivum 'Red Ace' Jovibarba allionii x hirta Rosularia sempervivum subsp. glaucophyllum

Sempervivum, Jovibarba and Rosularia are three genera of succulent, rosette forming plants belonging to the Crassulaceae family. They are commonly known as Houseleeks or Hen and Chickens.

The main attraction of these plants is their colourful rosettes of leaves. These range from bright yellow, through various shades of green, grey, pink, purple, red, orange and brown, to almost black in some varieties. The leaves may be dull or glossy, or covered with soft down or longer hairs. Small silvery hairs are commonly found along the leaf margins and in many varieties the leaf tips bear a tuft of longer hairs that can form a "cobweb" over the surface of the rosettes. Leaf shape can also vary from short, succulent, almost round leaves to long, tapering, finely pointed ones.

The rosettes are most striking in the spring and summer but even in the winter when growth stops, many varieties remain attractively coloured. It is the endless range of different leaf shapes, colours and textures that make this group so interesting to enthusiasts.

Sempervivum cultivars
A collection of sempervivums

Houseleeks reproduce vegetatively by producing a cluster of offsets around the base of the plant. These are often borne on the ends of long stolons and they can either be left to root around the main plant to form a cushion of rosettes, or they can be detached and grown separately.

In their second or third year, most rosettes will stop producing offsets and begin the process of flowering. The first sign of this is usually a deepening of colour of a large rosette followed by elongation of the main stem. This grows upwards for 10 to 30 cm then produces a large cluster of attractive pink, purple, yellow or white flowers.

 

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Flowers

 

The three genera are most easily distinguished by their flowers. In Sempervivum the flowers are star-shaped with 8 to 16 petals. The most common colours are shades of pink or red although some have cream or yellow flowers.

Sempervivum charadzae  Sempervivum grandiflorum
Sempervivum flowers

Jovibarba flowers are yellow, more bell-like and usually have six petals.

 Jovibarba hirta
Jovibarba flowers

Rosularia flowers typically have 6 to 8 petals but the flowers open wide and are usually cream or pale yellowish colour.

 Rosularia sedoides
Rosularia flower

Most flowers produce fertile seeds but hybridisation is very common so in order to propagate known varieties it is essential to use offsets rather than seeds.

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Sempervivum and Jovibarba book

 

Our 60 page, A5 book is in full colour and contains over 300 photographs was published in May 2004.

ISBN 0-9547533-0-5

Click here for details.

 

 

Sempervivums CD-ROM

  We have produced a CD-ROM containing over 1000 photographs of Sempervivum and Jovibarba species and cultivars in our NCCPG National Collections®. The CD can be viewed with an internet browser such as MS Internet Explorer or with any other software that will read .jpg files.

Click here for details.

 

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