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Products > Aeonium saundersii
Aeonium saundersii - Gomera Dwarf Aeonium

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  
Image of Aeonium saundersii
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Crassulaceae (Stonecrops)
Origin: Canary Islands (Atlantic Ocean)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Spring
Height: <1 foot
Width: <1 foot
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Aeonium saundersii (Martian Heads Aeonium) - A small sub-shrub that remains under 1 foot with small rosettes not much more than 1 inch wide on well branched delicate stems. The rosettes have 10 to 15 rounded succulent green leaves that have hairs and a hint of red along the margins showing from the hairy red underside and the leaves are pleasantly scented when crushed. In mid spring appear the single lemon-yellow flowers, nearly as large as a rosette, followed by the leaves darkening and curling inwards to ball up like a fist to conserve moisture for summer dormancy - a very odd plant indeed.

Plant in coastal sun or shaded or morning sun in a well-drained soil and irrigated occasionally to more infrequently in summer. Seems to tolerate some summer watering if soil drains well and then does not go as dormant but can also tolerate summer drought as a dormant plant and overwatering in summer can rot the roots, which then initiates aerial root production from the base of the living rosettes. We have seen information indicating that this plant is hardy to 20 F. We think this pant best as an interesting potted specimen, hanging basket or planted in a pocket in a rock wall.

Aeonium saundersii grows naturally on steep slopes, sometimes north facing, on the Island of Gomera in the Canary Islands. The name from the genus comes for Greek word 'aionion' or 'aionios' meaning immortal or everlasting for its succulent nature and presumed longevity. The specific epithet honors the English botanist, horticulturist and entomologist William W. Sunders (1809-1879). Another common name for this plant is Gomera Dwarf Aeonium. We received this curious plant from John Bleck and we grew it from 2014 to 2018. 

This information about Aeonium saundersii displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.