Native to the mountains of Europe and very hardy, semps are slowly clumping evergreen succulents for sunny areas with good drainage. Each spring babies (chicks) appear, radiating out from Mamma hen like the spokes of a wheel, that then root and start their own "family". In some cultivars, in mid to late summer, Mamma blooms with star-shaped (usually pink or reddish) flowers then dies, leaving her chicks to carry on. Easy to grow and fairly drought tolerant, they seem to be able to take a considerable amount of moisture. Great in containers. Used in ancient Europe on house roofs to insulate and "protect from lightening". Leaf colors vary according to the seasons, strong light results in more intense colorations. Easy to spread around the yard by breaking off a chick and transplanting to other areas. Long-lived. NOT deer resistant.
Pictured above: Sempervivum 'Royanum', a Sempervivum tectorum cultivar. Collected in 1914 at the Roya Maritime Alps, described 1924 from Henry Correvon. Mentioned in "Les Joubarbes" by Henry Correvon: " This is a form of very remarkable proportions which exceed those of all other semperviva. It is related to S. calcaratum Baker, but its rosettes Ø - 12 cm; they are glaucous, self-coloured, with red-brown tips. It is an even stronger S. robustum, although its flowering stalks rarely exceed a bare 50 cm; flowers brownish rose in widely opened stars. It grows on the rocks commanding Fontain, on the Roya Maritime Alps, where I found it in 1914." Possible synonyms: 'Birchmeier', Birchmeyer'