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Sempervivum arachnoideum var. bryoides – Cobweb Houseleek

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Scientific Name

Sempervivum arachnoideum subsp. bryoides (C.B.Lehm. & Schnittsp.) H.Jacobsen

Common Names

Cobweb Houseleek, Cobweb Hen and Chicks

Synonyms

Sempervivum arachnoideum subsp. bryoides, Sempervivum bryoides, Sempervivum heterotrichum var. bryoides

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Sempervivum arachnoideum var. bryoides is a mat-forming, evergreen, perennial up to 5 inches (12.5 cm) tall, comprising very small rosettes up to 0.4 inch (1 cm) in diameter, of oval, fleshy green leaves tipped with red and covered in a web of white hairs. Mature rosettes can form a stem with a terminal cluster of pink flowers in the summer.

Photo via flickr.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 5a to 8b: from −20 °F (−28.9 °C) to 20 °F (−6.7 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Because of the variability of Cobweb Houseleek, they easily adapt to the local conditions, and due to the small gene pool, they become a form or variety quite quickly, perfectly adapted to the local conditions of heat and cold as well as the amount of snow or rain and at which times of year.

Relatively easy to grow in container or in rock garden, scree bed, wall crevice, trough or alpine house. They are ideal in so many ways, as they quickly start to form very tight clusters of rosettes, filling in Sempervivum walls, mosaics and topiary, and their shallow yet fibrous root systems hold soil in place even in vertical plantings. After the plant blooms and sets seed it will die, but there will be many offsets to take its place.

Plant in well drained succulent soil mix in full sun to light shade. Water regularly during the growing season and allow soil to dry out before watering again. Water very little during the winter months… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Cobweb Houseleek (Sempervivum arachnoideum)

Uses

The plant has been variously utilized by the local populations in the traditional medicine and furthermore when growing on the roofs it was used to protect the houses against thunderbolts and witchcraft…. – See more at: Medicinal Use of Cobweb Houseleek

Origin

Native to the mountains of central and southern Europe.

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