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Products > Sempervivum arachnoideum 'Cobweb Buttons'
Sempervivum arachnoideum 'Cobweb Buttons' - Cobweb Houseleek

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Crassulaceae (Stonecrops)
Origin: Europe, Southern (Europe)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Magenta
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Height: <1 foot
Width: Clumping
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: < 0 °F
Sempervivum arachnoideum 'Cobweb Buttons' (Cobweb Houseleek) - Hardy small succulent to 1 to 3 inches tall forming tight rosettes that reach 2-3 inches in diameter with dense webbing of gray threads over pale green leaves. Offsets readily to form tight clumps or wide mats over time. Clusters of reddish-purple star-shaped flowers rise above the foliage on short (3-4 inch) stalks in the late spring to early summer. Plant in sun or light shade (protect from intense sun inland) in a sandy well-drained soil. Requires little water. A great plant in rock crevices or as a small scale groundcover. Hardy well below 0°F – listed to USDA zone 4. We received this plant from Foremostco and did not know of its origins, though noted several similar named cultivars 'Cobweb' and 'Clärchen'. In 2014 we were contacted by a Steve Hottovy of Beyond Green Nursery (now closed) in Dayton, Oregon who told us that this was one of his selection made in the 1990s from a batch of volunteer seedlings. It appears that this plant is a robust selection of Sempervivum arachnoideum var tomentosum, a variable plant native to southern Europe from the Pyrenees east to the Carpathian Mountains. The name for the genus comes from the Latin words 'semper' meaning "always" and 'vivus' meaning "living" in reference to the long living nature of these plants. Specific epithet is from the Latin word derived from Greek word 'arachne' meaning "spider" for the web-like hairs. The common names Houseleek or Roof House Leek comes from the ancient practice of planting these plants on the thatched roofs of houses to prevent roof fires caused by lightning. The alternate common name of Hen and Chicks is because the older center plant in a clump is larger and surrounded by smaller plants, though on this Spider Web Hens and Chicks, most rosettes in a cluster are about the same size, lacking a larger mother hen among the smaller chicks. Image courtesy of Foremostco.  The information provided on this page is based on research we have conducted about this plant in our nursery's library, from what we have found about it on reliable online sources, as well as from observations in our nursery of crops of this plant as well as of plants growing in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens. We will also incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if it includes cultural information that would aid others in growing  Sempervivum arachnoideum 'Cobweb Buttons'.