Sempervivum globiferum L.
Rolling Hen and Chicks
Diopogon globifer, Jovibarba globifera, Sedum globiferum, Sempervivum globiferum subsp. globiferum
Sempervivum globiferum, also known as Jovibarba globifera, is a small succulent that forms flattened globose rosettes of light green leaves, often with a large apical red blotch on the back. The rosettes grow up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) in diameter, offsetting abundantly to form attractive dense tufts. The offsets are spherical and often on short, slender stolons. They are lightly attached and easily pop off and roll away from the mother rosette. Leaves are fleshy, oblanceolate, about 0.4 inches (1 cm) long, and up to 0.2 inches (0.5 cm) wide.
The flowers are star-shaped, usually 6-merous, with green sepals, often flushed with red, brown, or reddish-brown and greenish-white to greenish-yellow petals. They appear in dense terminal clusters on an erect, up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall stalk clothed with red-tipped leaves in summer.
Sempervivum globiferum is native to central and south-eastern Europe. It occurs southwards to northern Albania and extends to the southwestern Alps, usually at low altitudes on dry sandy sites, mainly in pine-forest, and along rocky river banks.
USDA hardiness zones 4a to 10b: from −30 °F (−34.4 °C) to 40 °F (+4.4 °C).
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.
Repot as needed, preferably during the warm season. To repot a succulent, ensure the soil is dry before repotting, then gently remove the pot. Knock away the old soil from the roots, removing any rotted or dead roots. Treat any cuts with a fungicide. Place the plant in its new pot and backfill it with potting soil, spreading the roots out as you repot. Leave the plant dry for a week or so, then begin to water lightly to reduce the risk of root rot.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Sempervivum.
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