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Sempervivum 'Oddity' (Oddity Houseleek)

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Scientific Name

Sempervivum 'Oddity'

Common Names

Oddity Hens and Chicks, Hens and Chicks, Oddity Houseleek, Houseleek, Trumpeter

Synonyms

Sempervivum tectorum 'Oddity'

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Sempervivum 'Oddity', also known as Sempervivum tectorum 'Oddity', is an unusual-looking succulent that creates a mat of little clumps that continue to spread. The leaves have recurved to form hollow, stiff, upright, pointed pipes that are blue-green with purple tips. Rosettes grow up to 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. Flowers are star-shaped, reddish-purple, and held in flat cymes on the terminal ends of hairy, upright stems. The rosettes die after flowering but are replaced by new rosettes on lateral runners.

Hardiness

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 by this time, the plant has likely produced many offsets that will continue to grow. 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, which will cluster 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.

Origin

Sempervivum 'Oddity' is a hybrid developed by American succulent plant enthusiast Sandy McPherson and it was introduced to gardeners in 1977. It won the 1978 Bronze Rosette Award for the best new variety.

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