Jovibarba allionii

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Jovibarba species

06 Oct 2005

This page: Introduction - Species list - Interspecific hybrids



Sempervivum species
Sempervivum cultivars

Jovibarba species
Jovibarba cultivars


Fernwood Nursery


There are five species of Jovibarba although some botanists feel that some of these should be considered as subspecies rather than species. The genus was previously included in the genus Sempervivum as a subgenus or section and the segregation of Jovibarba as a separate genus is still controversial. All have flowers that are bell shaped with pale yellow petals.

Four of the species produce offsets on short, fragile stolons and the offsets, which are sometimes known as "rollers", easily become detached and fall away from the parent plant.

Jovibarba hirta
Jovibarba hirta

J. heuffelii is unusual in that it reproduces vegetatively by splitting of the main stem into two or more rosettes rather than by the production of offsets on stolons. This results in very attractive clumps of rosettes in older plants but it does make them more difficult to propagate.

Jovibarba heuffelii
Jovibarba heuffelii

The symbol [P] after a name links to a photograph of that plant in our collection. Go to the Gallery to view small versions of all pictures.



Jovibarba species list


J. allionii (Jordan & Fourr.) Webb (1963) [P] - SW Alps - Rosettes are a pale yellowish green and have long tapering incurved leaves. An attractive species which is easy to grow.

J. arenaria (Koch) Opiz (1852) [P] - Austria and Italy - Very small, globular rosettes, green, orange and red. It grows best in a very well drained soil and benefits from some protection from winter damp.

J. heuffelii (Schott) Love (1961) - Southern Carpathians and Balkans - Plants of this species are very distinctive. They grow into tight clusters of rosettes as the succulent stem divides. Leaves are quite sturdy and generally have sharply pointed tips. Geographical forms differ in shape, size, colour and degree of pubescence. There are also a large number of J. heuffelii cultivars.

J. heuffelii subsp. heuffelii [P] - the type plant, greyish-green rosettes covered with fine hairs.

J. heuffelii subsp. glabra (beck & Szys.) Holub - Rosette leaves lack hairs, most of the geographical forms have green or greyish-green leaves but they are quite distinct from each other.

Geographical forms include clones collected from Anabakanak, Anthoborio, Bakovo, Hajla, Jakupica, Kosovo [P] , Ljubotin, Osl Jak, Ostrovika, Pasina Glava, Rhodope Mts, Treska Gorge, Uran E Vogel and Vitse.

J. heuffelii var. kopaonikense (Pancic) Huber - Serbia - Bright green with dark brownish red leaf tips, pubescent leaves.

J. hirta (L.) Opiz (1852) - Eastern Alps and W Carpathians - Small rosettes of glabrous leaves, shades of green red and brown.

J. hirta subsp. hirta - Eastern Alps - Flowering shoots are pubescent.

J. hirta subsp. glabrescens (Sabr.) Fav. & Zes. - W. Carpathians - Incurved leaves, heavily flushed with dark red. The flowering shoots are glabrous. Clones from Smeryouka and  Belansky Tatra are in general cultivation.

J. hirta subsp. tatrensis - (Domin) Löve - W. Carpathians - a form growing in acid rocks of high elevation.

J. sobolifera (Sims) Opiz (1852) - Bohemia, Poland, - sometimes called the "Hen and Chickens Houseleek". Open rosettes of many short leaves. Green flushed with brownish red.



Interspecific hybrids


As with Sempervivum, most of the Jovibarba species will hybridise. Under garden conditions each of the other Jovibarba species have been crossed with J. heuffelii and their hybrids named.

J. ×kwediana (J. allionii × J. heuffelii)
J. ×mitchelii (J. arenaria × J. heuffelii)
J. ×nixonii (J. sobolifera × J. heuffelii)
J. ×smithii (J. hirta × J. heuffelii)

J. allionii x hirta [P] - an interesting hybrid which clearly shows characteristics intermediate between the two parents, the rosettes are larger and paler than J. hirta but smaller and darker than J. allionii.

J. allionii × hirta 'Oki' - this cultivar is larger and more brightly coloured than the normal cross, the leaves are yellowish-green but with sharply contrasting dark leaf tips.

J. hirta × sobolifera 'Emerald Spring' - small, brightly coloured rosettes.



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