Sempervivum tectorum L.
Houseleek, Common Houseleek, Liveforever, Hen and Chickens, Old Man and Woman, Roof Houseleek, Hens and Chicks, Bullock's Beard, Bullock's Eye, Devil's Beard, Earwort, Fuet, Healing Blade, Homewort, Imbroke, Jove's Beard, Jupiter's Beard, Jupiter's Eye, Poor Jan's Leaf, Roof Foil, Sengreen, St Patrick's Cabbage, Thunder Plant, Welcome-Home-Husband-However-Drunk-You-Be
Bloom Time: Summer
Sempervivum tectorum is a mat-forming succulent that forms rosettes of glabrous, grey-green, sometimes purple-tipped leaves. The rosettes grow up to 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. Leaves are up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long. The mother rosette spreads in all directions by horizontal stems to form offsets. In summer, leafy, hairy, upright flowering stalks rise from the mother rosette to 12 inches (30 cm) tall topped with cymes of red-purple flowers.
How to Grow and Care
Sempervivums are not difficult to grow, provided they are not waterlogged and killed from excess watering. They can be easily grown outdoors and in containers, and they earned the name "Houseleeks" from their tendency to root on the roofs of houses. After the mother plant flowers, it will naturally die, but the plant has likely produced many offsets that will continue to grow by this time. These are excellent for cold windows. Sempervivum earned their popular name "Hen and Chicks" from their growth habit. The mother plant, or hen, sends off numerous offsets, clustering around her base like chicks. These offsets can be easily repotted, or the plants can be left to form a clumping mat.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Sempervivum.
The juice and leaves have been used in folk remedies for centuries for their coolant, anti-inflammatory, astringent and diuretic properties. Bruised leaves of the fresh plant or the juice from the plant can be used as poultices for burns, scalds, ulcers, and any inflammation as the pain is quickly reduced. Honey mixed with the juice helps relieve the pain of mouth ulcers.
See more at Houseleek: Superstitions, History and Medicinal Benefits.
This species is native to the Mountains of Western, Central, and Southern Europe, from the Pyrenees to the Alps, Apennines, and Dinarides.
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