Hens & Chicks –
Cobweb houseleek is a beautiful, clustering succulent with fleshy gray green leaves embellished with small web-like hairs. It consists of ground-hugging spiraled rosettes that divide and proliferate, creating colonies over time. The mother plant almost looks like a hen surrounded by her chicks, hence the common name. The tiny juvenile “”chicks”” are connected to the mother plant by a silky thin stems. This species is native of the mountains of southern Europe where it exists between rocky, gravelly outcrops.
In late spring to early summer older rosettes may send up a single flower stalk. Plants rarely flower, but when they do they produce branched clusters of five-petaled, rose-pink blooms. Once a rosette blooms it will die, but offsets that have not bloomed will thrive and produce their own pups in time.
This is the perfect alpine for sun-drenched, elevated rock gardens with well-drained sandy gravelly soil. Shallow soils and sites with excellent drainage are preferred and help these cold-hardy perennials withstand winter moisture. Offsets may become quite crowded in alpine rock gardens. If this happens they are easy to divide and move. Simply sever and dig any unwanted chicks and plant them elsewhere to create whole new colonies.
Sempervivums are ideal for sunny, elevated rock gardens but will not stand up to low desert summer heat. They look great in shallow stone troughs, rocky crevices or on green roofs among other drought tolerant, low-growing succulents.
Winchester Gardens generally stocks this item.
Hens & Chicks
Red, Green, Grey Green, Silver
Yarrow – Woolly yarrow enjoys similar conditions to hens-and-chicks. Its low mats of deeply cut leaves covered in silvery hairs and small heads of yellow spring flowers make them fine companions.
Thrift – With tight mounds of grassy blue gray leaves, thrift contrasts well with hens-and-chicks in sunny places. The heads of white, pink, or red flowers in late spring are a bonus.
Sedum – Groundcover sedum selections also love a hot, dry spot and offer a variety of textures that complement or contrast hens-and-chicks.