Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hens and Chicks

Sempervivium

A large genus of succulent plants with clustered rosettes that form mats / hammocks ( rarely up to 3 x 32 inches ) that are excellent for use in rock gardens, edging and containers.
Though generally a low plant, the flower spikes in mid summer may reach up to 22 inches in height bearing starry flowers. Each individual rosette dies after flowering however leaves offsets sustaining the plant.
In Europe these are commonly seen growing on the gravel on flat roofs ( called "Green Roofs" ). Hens and Chicks will even grow on pure sand. They look great when mixed for diversity.
Hardy north to zone 5 ( possibly much colder, even zone 1 in some vars. ) in full sun on very well drained sandy or gritty soil. They do not like clay and should be protected from excessive winter wetness. Hens and Chicks should never be fertilized as it encourages flowering and death. Deadhead old blooms by removing the entire rosette to increase the growth of offsets. Insect pests are rare, root rot and rust diseases may occur on sites that are too wet.
Propagation can be from seed, division or offsets.

* photo taken on August 3 2010 @ University of Guelph Arboretum, Ontario

* photo of unknown internet source




Sempervivium arachnoideum
Forms a dense mat, up to 15 inches across, of compact, tight heads, up to 6 inches across, of foliage that bright green to gray-green with cobwebbing.

'Cebenese'
New heads develop on long stolons.

'Rubra'
Heads of reddish foliage with cobwebbing.

Sempervivium x fauconnettii
The natural hybrid between S. arachnoideum & S. tectorum. The medium-sized rosettes are composed of hairy, gray-green leaves. The flowers are red.

Sempervivium pumilum
Small heads of foliage that is bright green with red tips.

Sempervivium tectorum
Spreads quickly to form mats up to 32 inches across, of moderately tight heads of foliage up to 6 inches across. The leaves, up to 3 inches in length, are rich mid-green and tipped with purple.
The red flowers are borne on stalks up to 2 feet high.

Sempervivum x hybrida

'Alpha'
Forms fairly open, large heads of foliage that is blue-green, with slight cobwebbing.

'Alpinus'
Forms moderately open, large heads of foliage that is green at the center, deepening toward red at the tips.

'Atroviolaceum'
Foliage is violet-purple with very pointed tips.

'Beta'
Forms very tight but large heads of foliage that is blue-green and edged in red.

'Booth's Red'
Forms large clumps that are intense scarlet-red.

'Carmen'
Forms very large, somewhat open heads of foliage that is bright green with red tips.

'Commander Hay'
Forms large rosettes, up to 6 + inches across, that are red and green in color.

'Gay Jester'
Forms compact rosettes that are glossy rich red except lightening to bright green in the center. The entire rosettes turn to bright green by mid summer.
It produced new rosettes on short stolons.

'Granada'
Large rosettes that are pink and green.

'Grayling'
Forms very tight, medium sized heads that are deep red except for green tinted on the inside.

'Imperial'
Rosettes that are bright green with rose-pink flushing.

'Kalinda'
Moderately tight, large heads of foliage that is green and tipped red.

'King George'
Heads are gray-green.

'Lavender & Old Lace'
Open, large heads with foliage that is gray-green at first, turning to green with slight red tips.

'Mahogany'
Glossy brownish-red foliage.

'Mrs. Giuseppe'
Grayish-blue rosettes with deep red tips.

'Olivette'
Moderately tight, large heads of foliage that gray-green and lightly tipped red.

'Ornatum'
Red foliage.

'Othello'
Large heads of foliage that is red in color.

'Pekinense'
Foliage is reddish at first, turning to very bright green.

'Purple Beauty'
Reaches up to 8 inches x 1 foot, with moderately open, mid-sized heads of foliage that is green with deep purple tips.

'Purple Passion'
Attractive, moderately open, mid-sized heads of foliage that are deep purple except greenish towards the center.

'Red Beauty'
Reaches up to 4 inches x 1 foot, with moderately open, mid-sized heads of foliage that are gray-green with deep red tips.

'Rogin'
Mid-sized heads of intensely red foliage.

'Royal Ruby'
Reaches up to 4 inches x 1 foot, with moderately tight, large heads of foliage that is intensely deep purple-red.

'Rubiton'
Very vigorous, forming a dense large rosette of very deep red-purple foliage.

'Ruby Heart'
Moderately open, large heads of foliage that is bright green with deep red tips.

'Saturn'
Mid-sized rosettes of foliage that are ringed red, pink and green.

'Snowberger'
Moderately open, large heads of foliage that is pale gray.

'Sunset'
Moderately open, large heads of foliage that is bright green with intense scarlet-red tips.

'Thayne'
The large rosettes are silvery-green.

'Triste'
Rosettes, up to 7 inches across, of fleshy leaves that are gray-green and tipped red.

'Wolcotts Variety'
Reaches up to 6 x 12 inches, with huge heads, up to 7 inches across, composed of silvery-pink fleshy leaves up to 3.5 inches in length.

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