Sempervivum montanum

24 Nov

Sempervivum montanum (08/11/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Sempervivum montanum (08/11/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to dappled shade

Flowering period: Summer

Soil: Moist, free draining

Eventual Height: 5cm

Eventual Spread: 8cm

Hardiness: 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b

Family: Crassulaceae

Sempervivum montanum is a succulent evergreen perennial with a rosette forming habit. Its mid green leave are oblanceolate with entire margins, up to 3cm long and 1.5cm across. Its pink/ purple flowers are star shaped, up to 4cm across and appear on erect stems which are up to 20cm tall. This plant readily produces offsets which aids its spread.

Sempervivum montanum, commonly known as Houseleek or Hen and Chicks, is native to mountanious regions of south Europe. In its native habitat it grows on rocky areas, mostly on acidic soils.

The etymological root of the binomial name Sempervivum is derived from the Latin semper meaning ‘always’ and vivum meaning ‘living’. Montanum is from the Latin menaing ‘mountainous’.

Sempervivum montanum Detail (08/11/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Sempervivum montanum Detail (08/11/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

The landscape architect may find Sempervivum montanum useful for xeriscaping, planting in rock gardens and containers. Once established this plant is drought tollerant.

Ecologically,  Sempervivum montanum flowers are attractive to pollinating insects.

Sempervivum montanum prefers moist, free draining soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It dislikes wet soils.

Sempervivum montanum requires little maintenance.

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One Response to “Sempervivum montanum”

  1. It looks really pretty! Sadly, in my Russian culture we plant them on graves. I don’t know wht they do so 🙂 Perhaps, to forget about visiting the grave, because the plant does not need much watering.

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