Aeonium hierrense (R.P.Murray) Pit. & Proust.
El Hierro Giant Houseleek
This species is native to the Canary Islands. (El Hierro). It grows in exposed sunny locations on rocky soils in the eastern and central parts of El Hierro island at elevations of about 3,940 feet (1,200 m).
Aeonium hierrense is a beautiful succulent with a smooth, usually unbranched or rarely few-branched stem topped with a large rosette of glaucous green, strongly glaucous leaves with pinkish or reddish margins with fine hairs. It grows up to 5 feet (1.5 m) tall. The flattish rosettes are up to 24 inches (60 cm) in diameter. Leaves are obovate or oblanceolate, up to 12 inches (30 cm) long and up to 3.2 inches (8 cm) wide. After three or more years, a dome-shaped flowerhead of many star-shaped, 6- to 9-merous flowers appears on an up to 10 inches (25 cm) tall stalk, usually in spring. The flowerhead is up to 20 inches (50 cm) tall and nearly equal in diameter. Flowers are whitish, with the median part often pinkish. This plant is monocarpic, which means it dies after flowering.
The specific epithet "hierrense (hi-er-REN-see)" means "of or from Hierro" and refers to El Hierro, the second-smallest of the Canary Islands.
USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Aeoniums do not like hot or dry weather. Therefore, they may go dormant in summer and do not require any water except in arid conditions. In extreme heat, their leaves will curl to prevent excessive water loss. Growing them in moist shade will keep them growing, but their true growth season is winter to spring, when temperatures are cool, 65 to 75 °F (18 to 24 °C), and damp. In the winter, water whenever the soil has dried out. Test by poking your finger down into the soil an inch or 2 (2.5 to 5 cm). Too much moisture or allowing them to sit in wet soil will cause root rot.
A sandy loam or regular potting mix is better than a mix specifically for cacti and succulents since Aeoniums need some moisture. If you are growing them in containers, repot them every 2 to 3 years with fresh potting soil.
Feed during the growing season with a half-strength balanced fertilizer every month or so. Do not feed while dormant.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Aeonium.
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