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Sempervivum globiferum (Rolling Hen and Chicks)


Scientific Name

Sempervivum globiferum L.

Common Names

Rolling Hen and Chicks


Diopogon globifer, Diopogon hirtus subsp. borealis, Jovibarba globifera, Jovibarba hirta subsp. borealis, Jovibarba sobolifera, Sedum soboliferum, Sempervivum soboliferum

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Sedoideae
Tribe: Sedeae
Subtribe: Sedinae
Genus: Sempervivum


Sempervivum globiferum, also known as Jovibarba globifera, is a succulent plant that forms hemispherical rosettes of green leaves, usually with reddish-brown tips. The leaves are up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) long.   Rosette leaves are fleshy, spatulate, curved, with an entire margin, while stem leaves are ovate. Flowers are star-shaped, pale greenish-yellow or yellow, up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) across, and appear in summer on up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall stalks. It produces small, globe-shaped offsets that are lightly attached and easily pop off and roll away from the mother plant. Offsets survive the main rosette, which is monocarpic.

Sempervivum globiferum (Rolling Hen and Chicks) aka Jovibarba globifera

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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, make sure the soil is dry before repotting, then gently remove the pot. Knock away the old soil from the roots, making sure to remove any rotted or dead roots in the process. Treat any cuts with a fungicide. Place the plant in its new pot and backfill 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.


Sempervivum globiferum is native to the eastern and southern Alps, the Carpathians, and the western Balkans south to northern Albania.



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