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Products > Aeonium arboreum 'Zwartkop'
 
Aeonium arboreum 'Zwartkop' - Large Purple Aeonium
  

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Crassulaceae (Stonecrops)
Origin: Canary Islands (Atlantic Ocean)
Evergreen: Yes
Red/Purple Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Summer
Synonyms: [A. manriqueorum 'Schwartzkopf', 'Schwartzkopf']
Height: 3-4 feet
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Cool Sun/Light Shade
Seaside: Yes
Drought Tolerant: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Aeonium arboreum 'Zwartkop' (Large Purple Aeonium) - A striking succulent which forms clumps of 3-4 foot tall gray-brown stems that often branch near their base but not above. The long, bare stems hold large terminal rosettes of very dark purple (seemingly black) leaves. Yellow star-shaped flowers that contrast well against the dark foliage form in long conical clusters from the center of the rosettes of mature older plants in summer, after which the stems bearing the flower die to the ground. Plant in a well-drained soil in full sun near the coast to partial shade inland. Water deeply but infrequently - this is a winter growing species that is semi-dormant in summer and early fall when foliage is at its darkest. Protect from frost as stems will freeze at around 28 F. This plant is great along the ocean and tolerates drought and is reportedly resistant to deer predation. Aeonium arborescens is native to Gran Carnaria Island in the Canary Islands. We have long grown this plant as 'Zwartkop' as this was the name we received the plant by and the name used in the Abbey Gardens catalogs in the early 1980's. There is some disagreement on this name, mostly due to whether the Dutch name 'Zwartkop', meaning "black head" or the German name 'Schwartzkopf' (or alternatively 'Schwarzkopf') with the same meaning is correct. The story varies whether this plant originated in Holland and was originally named there. This is the story that is portrayed in "Dry Climate Gardening with Succulents" edited by Huntington Botanic Garden Director James Folsom but in an article on the Ruth Bancroft Garden website describing this plant, Dr. Dean Kelch, Garden Director at the Ruth Bancroft Garden (and noted Aeonium expert) uses the name 'Schwartzkopf' and relates that this plant was a seedling raised in Europe and that the UC Berkeley Botanic Garden was the first institution to obtain plants in the US. Dr. Kelch also notes that many dark forms of Aeonium arboreum in nurseries are mislabeled as 'Schwartzkopf'. Further confusion surrounds the parentage of this plant; this plant is sometimes described as a cultivar of Aeonium manriqueorum but this name has been included in with A. arboreum in Dr. Reto Nyffeler's treatment of the genus as published in "Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Crassulaceae" edited by Urs Eggli, Springer, 2003. The cultivar received the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit in 1993  This description is based on our research and observations of this plant as it grows in containers at our nursery, in our own garden and in other gardens. We also appreciate receiving feedback of any kind from those who have additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or have additional cultural tips that would aid others growing Aeonium arboreum 'Zwartkop' .
 
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