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Sempervivum arachnoideum (Cobweb Houseleek)

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Scientific Name

Sempervivum arachnoideum L.

Common Names

Cobweb Houseleek, Cobweb Hen and Chick, Spider Web Hens and Chicks

Synonyms

Sedum arachnoideum, Sempervivum doellianum, Sempervivum heterotrichum

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Sempervivum arachnoideum is a low-growing, evergreen, succulent perennial that forms a mat of fleshy rosettes up to 1.2 inch (3 cm) in diameter. The leaves are green or reddish, with white, cobwebby hairs at the tips. The starry flowers are pink, up to 0.4 inch (1 cm) across and appear in flat cymes on stems up to 5 inches (12.5 cm) tall.

Hardiness

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

How to Grow and Care

Relatively easy to grow in container or in rock garden, scree bed, wall crevice, trough or alpine house. It is ideal in so many ways, as it 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.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Cobweb Houseleek (Sempervivum arachnoideum).

Uses

The leaves are harvested in the summer and are best used when fresh, since they are difficult to dry properly. The leaf pulp is used to make a cooling face mask for reddened or sunburned skin.

Learn more at Medicinal Use of Cobweb Houseleek.

Origin

Sempervivum arachnoideum is native to the Mountain of Europe from the Pyrenees to the Carpathians.

Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars and Hybrids

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