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Sempervivum tectorum - L.
                 
Common Name Houseleek, Common houseleek, Hen and Chickens
Family Crassulaceae
USDA hardiness 5-10
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Roofs, old walls, chimneys and rocks, especially on limestone[9].
Range Original habitat is obscure but the plant is naturalized in Britain.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun

Summary
Bloom Color: Pink, Purple, Red. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Late summer, Mid summer. Form: Rounded.

Sempervivum tectorum Houseleek, Common houseleek, Hen and Chickens


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Illustration_Sempervivum_tectorum0.jpg
Sempervivum tectorum Houseleek, Common houseleek, Hen and Chickens
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilisateur:Bouba
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Sempervivum tectorum is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jun to July, and the seeds ripen from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Synonyms

Habitats
 Cultivated Beds; East Wall. In. South Wall. In. West Wall. In.
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: Drink.

Young leaves and shoots - raw[9]. They can be eaten in salads[9]. The juice of the leaves is used as a refreshing drink[105, 177].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antidiarrhoeal;  Antipruritic;  Astringent;  Diuretic;  Odontalgic;  Refrigerant;  Stings;  Vulnerary;  
Warts.

Houseleek leaves and their juice are used for their cooling and astringent effect, being applied externally to soothe many skin conditions. As with many other remedies that are both astringent and soothing, houseleek simultaneously tightens and softens the skin. The fresh leaves are astringent, diuretic, odontalgic, refrigerant and vulnerary[4, 9, 13, 21, 46, 61]. They are used as a poultice in much the same way as Aloe vera in the treatment of a wide range of skin diseases, burns, scalds, bites and stings etc and have also been used to get rid of warts and corns[4, 200, 238, 257]. The plant is also sometimes used internally in the treatment of shingles, skin complaints and haemorrhoids, though some care is required since in excess the plant is emetic and purgative[238]. The leaves are harvested as required and used fresh[238].
Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details
Landscape Uses:Alpine garden, Container, Ground cover, Rock garden. Prefers a well-drained gritty soil in full sun[200]. Succeeds in any sandy soil[1], doing well in very little soil in rock crevices, walls, paths etc so long as there is sufficient humus[200]. Established plants are very drought tolerant[4, 200] and dislike winter wet[200]. One of the many common names for this plant is rather interesting, but was too long to put in the common name entry earlier in this record. It is 'Welcome home husband, however drunk you be'. The plant is sometimes planted in thatched roofs since it is supposed to give protection against lightning, thunderbolts and fire to any house that it grows on[100]. It is also said to preserve the thatch[4, 115]. There is some justification to this belief because the leaves contain a great deal of water and do not burn easily - if there are many of the plants growing on the roof then they will tend to put out the fire before it can take hold properly. Individual rosettes die after flowering, but usually produce a number of offsets that continue to grow[188]. A polymorphic species, it is divided into a number of sub-species by some botanists[200]. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Edible, Not North American native.
Propagation
Seed - surface sow in early spring in a cold frame. It usually germinates in 2 - 6 weeks at 10°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer if they have made sufficient growth, otherwise grow them on for a further year in pots before planting them out[K]. Division of offsets in spring or early summer. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer. Plants can also be divided in September but these divisions should be overwintered in a greenhouse. Stem cuttings.
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
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Expert comment
 
Author
L.
Botanical References
17200
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
 
Elizabeth H.
David Beaulieu Sat Oct 28 2006
Sempervivum tectorum is an interesting little plant, not least of all because of the history behind its name.

Sempervivum Tectorum: Hen-and-Chickens Introduction to Sempervivum tectorum, including pictures, history and use in the landscape.

Elizabeth H.
david Fri Jul 31 2009
Perhaps it will grow in the shade too.... according to the book 'A Garden of Old Fashioned and Unusual Herbs'( by Painter & Power) in damp shady conditions it grows more open and greener in colour
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Subject : Sempervivum tectorum  

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