06 Oct 2005
The term "cultivar" is used to describe a clone of plants which cannot readily be identified as a particular species or interspecific hybrid. Over the hundreds of years that houseleeks have been cultivated many new forms have arisen as a result of random crosses or mutations. Many of these have been given cultivar names and propagated vegetatively by means of offsets.
In 1982 the Sempervivum Society, which at that time acted as the International Registration Authority for cultivars, published the International Register of Sempervivum and Jovibarba Cultivars containing about a thousand named varieties. Since then many others have been produced, mainly by individual enthusiasts, so there are now several thousand named cultivars.
The Sempervivum Society is no longer in operation but a comprehensive list of Sempervivum and Jovibarba cultivars has been produced by Martin Miklánek and can be found at: http://members.tripod.com/~miklanek/
It is very easy to grow houseleeks from seed either by collecting seeds from plants which have flowered or by potting up the self-sown seedlings which have germinated in the pots of other plants. Such seedlings often develop into attractive rosettes and one of the fascinations of growing houseleeks is that anyone can raise and name new cultivars. This has, however, resulted in many cultivars being named which are very similar to each other.
Some years ago the Sempervivum Society operated an award scheme for cultivars. New cultivars could be submitted to the Society for evaluation and after two years trials, outstanding new plants were given an Award of Merit (AM*). Cultivars which were already in general cultivation, and which were considered to be of special merit were given the following Rosette Awards.
Most people grow houseleeks for their rosettes of leaves rather than for their flowers but, although flowering signals the end of that particular rosette's life, the flowers are often quite spectacular. Red, pink and purple are the most common colours but some varieties have yellow or white flowers.
In the following list, brief descriptions are given of some of the better known, and a few of the more recently introduced cultivars. The cultivar name is followed by the country of origin, (AT = Austria; BE = Belgium; CH = Switzerland; CZ=Czech Republic; DE = Germany; FR=France; NL = The Netherlands; UK = Great Britain; US = United States of America) and a very brief description. The descriptions can only be taken as a rough guide as the appearance of the plants varies greatly under different growing conditions and at different times of the year.
The symbol [P] after a name links to a photograph of that plant in our collection. The gallery shows small versions of all the pictures. This has been split into four alphabetical sections: Gallery: (A-E) (F-L) (M-R) (S-Z)
Aldo Moro - BE - rich brownish-red with wide, sharply pointed leaves.
Alluring - US - flattened rosettes of short succulent leaves, shades of green, red, pink, and brown.
Alpha - DE - medium size, elongated leaves with white cilia and tufts of hairs, green shading to red.
Amanda [P] - UK - a fast growing cultivar with dark purple-brown, long tapering leaves. Soon produces a good carpet of rosettes.
Apache - DE - green, turning bright red, long narrow velvety leaves with white apical tufts.
Apple Blossom - UK - medium size, open rosettes, apple green with shades of pink in full sun.
Aross [P] - NL - very dark red, narrow succulent leaves with a distinct tuft of white apical hairs. Produces many offsets on short stolons.
Ashes of Roses - US - dull red leaves with long greyish hairs, soon producing a large cushion of rosettes. Pale pink flowers.
Asteroid - US - medium sized, pinkish red rosettes, shading to bronze-green in the centre.
Atropurpureum - ? - a cultivar of S. tectorum, medium size, leaves are a dark purplish black in the summer.
Atroviolaceum - ? - another S. tectorum cultivar, dark reddish violet colour.
Aureum - DE - medium to large rosettes, greenish-brown leaves which take on a gold tinge in the summer.
Aymon Correvon [P] - CH - an unusual pinkish brown colour with velvety leaves. Previously known as 'Correvon's Hybrid'.
Banyan - US - densely hairy, green, many leafed rosettes. Pink flowers.
Bascour Silver - BE - medium size 'arachnoideum' cultivar, green and red with silver hairs and white cobweb.
Bedivere - US - dark red, smooth, abruptly pointed leaves, a small neat grower.
Bedivere Cristate [P] - UK- A congested cristate form which appears to be stable.
Belladonna - US - pinkish purple leaves covered with velvety down.
Bella Meade - UK - (AM*1980) - medium sized, many leafed, purplish grey colour.
Bernstein - DE - large attractive rosettes, greenish gold with shades of pink and red.
Black Mini - UK - small, very dark red shading to green.
Black Mountain - NL - an attractive and vigorous cultivar. Dark blackish-red leaves.
Black Prince - UK - (AM*1975) (BR*1976) - rather slow growing, but a beautiful purplish black colour in the summer, leaves edged with silvery hairs.
Blue Boy [P] - US - greyish-green rosettes which take on a very attractive bluish tinge in the summer. Sturdy, compact plants which offset well.
Boissieri - UK - an attractive bronze-green cultivar of S. tectorum.
Boromir - US - medium sized, dark glossy red leaves.
Brock - UK - (AM*1977) (SR*1978) - very dark red, narrow leaves with sharp points and silvery pubescence.
Bronco - DE - dark brownish red glossy leaves with sharp points. Very good colour all the year round.
Bronze Pastel - UK - small, clustering, brownish gold rosettes with incurved leaves. Relatively large, bright pink flowers.
Brown Owl - UK - large, brownish red rosettes, olive green in the centre.
Burnati - DE - velvety green, open rosettes, flushed with pink in the summer.
Butterbur - US - outer leaves greenish-brown, inner leaves dull purplish red.
Cafe - UK - pale brownish green rosettes with sharply pointed, brown tipped leaves.
Canada Kate - US - medium to large, pale green and pinkish leaves, velvety texture.
Candy Floss - UK - small rosettes, shades of red and green, covered with white hairs.
Canth - UK - shapely brown leaves with red margins and tips.
Caramel - UK - an interesting shade of brownish-pink. Purple-pink flowers edged with white.
Carmen - US - large yellowish green leaves, heavily tipped with brownish red.
Cavo Doro - UK - dark brownish purple with olive green leaf bases.
Cherry Tart - UK - large to very large rosettes with wide flat leaves, a beautiful blackish red.
Chocolate - ? - medium size, chocolate brown leaves. Offsets produced on short thick stolons. A cultivar of S. marmoreum.
Circlet - US - small, pale green rosettes covered with long white hairs.
Cleveland Morgan [P] - US - an attractive cultivar with short, downy leaves, green, shading to pinkish red.
Cmiral's Yellow [P] - CZ - a very distinctive form of S. montanum var. carpathicum. The rosettes are bright yellow in the spring and early summer but turn green later.
Collage - US - (BR*1975) - medium large, petal shaped leaves, strongly edged with silver cilia, shades of green, pink and gold.
Congo - UK - large, dark brownish red with a small number of wide leaves, a distinctive looking variety.
Cornstone - UK - large rosettes of purplish red leaves, tipped with green.
Corsair - UK - large vigorously growing rosettes producing many offsets, green and red, hairy leaves.
Crimson Velvet [P] - small, narrow leafed rosettes which soon grow into a large clump of attractive red rosettes.
Crimsonette [P] - US - 1988 - in the summer this is one of the brightest of the red cultivars.
Crispyn - BE - attractive dark purple-red rosettes of pointed leaves.
Cupream - ? - large rosettes of short, wide leaves, green, red-brown and pink.
Dakota - DE - very large, green and red shading to almost black at the tips.
Dallas - UK - large, smooth , shades of red, green and brown.
Damask [P] - US - very large shapely rosettes of purplish black leaves, very distinctive.
Dark Beauty [P] - UK - dark, almost blackish red in the summer, a very attractive cultivar which grows well.
Dark Cloud [P] - US - many leafed symmetrical rosettes, dark purple with a greyish tinge.
Dark Point - UK - medium sized, clustering rosettes of dark brownish red, incurved leaves.
Deep Fire - US - greyish-green leaves with long silvery marginal hairs, shading to wine red in the centre. A vigorous grower which always looks attractive.
Degenianum - US - large rosettes of purple-grey leaves with a bluish tinge in summer.
Director Jacobs - BE - large, symmetrical, flat rosettes with many short wide leaves, deep red with silver cilia.
Downland Queen [P] - UK - Pale greyish green velvety leaves.
Duke Of Windsor - UK - medium size, leaves flushed with red, long marginal cilia.
Dyke - UK - large rosettes of intense dark red leaves. Very good spring and summer colour.
El Greco - UK - similar to 'El Toro' but leaf tips more bronze-green.
El Toro - UK - (AM*1974) (BR*1975) - large, distinctive plant, dark red leaves which keep their colour well.
Elgar - UK - wide , open rosettes, greyish green with shades of purple and pink.
Elvis - AT - attractive dark red rosettes which produce large numbers of offsets.
Emerald Giant - US - very large, emerald green leaves.
Emerson's Giant - US - similar to Emerald Giant but the leaf bases are a pinkish red colour.
Engle's 13-2 [P] - US - short, succulent leaves, greyish-purple and covered with fine down.
Excalibur - US - long, pinkish green leaves with red bases and tips.
Exhibita - US - medium large, pinkish purple with green leaf tips.
Exorna [P] - UK - (AM*1980) - beautiful velvety leaves, shades of pink, green and red but taking on a bronzed appearance in the summer.
Fair Lady [P] - US - attractive, green and red with silver marginal hairs.
Fame - UK - very large, pinkish red rosettes, good colour throughout the year.
Festival - CZ - large, impressive rosettes, red and green with wide, smooth leaves.
Firebird - US - bright red, glossy leaves, open rosettes.
Fire Glint - UK - large, many- rosettes, glowing brownish-red.
Flaming Heart - US - nicely shaped rosettes, leaves glowing red with green bases.
Flamingo - US - very distinctive rosettes of long, narrow, sharply pointed leaves. Shades of green, pink and red.
Flasher - US - dark red, sharply pointed leaves.
Ford's Amiability - BE - small, unusual purplish pink colour with a bluish tinge.
Ford's Giant - BE - very large rosettes of triangular shaped, green and red leaves
Ford's Spring - BE - small, clustering rosettes turning bright red in the summer.
Frosty - UK - medium size, green and red-brown, with distinct marginal cilia.
Fuzzy Wuzzy - US - olive green clumps of cristate leaves.
Gay Jester [P] - UK - large flattened rosettes, bright carmine-red leaves with green bases.
Ginnie's Delight - US - beautiful red and green rosettes, covered with long silvery hairs.
Gipsy - UK - large, dark red, smooth leaves.
Gizmo - US - large sharply pointed leaves, dark glossy brownish red.
Glowing Embers - US - medium to large, narrow tapering red leaves with glowing orange leaf bases.
Granada - US - large rosettes of velvety, wine red leaves.
Granat - DE - medium size, bright red, fast growing, good colour all the year.
Granby [P] - UK - medium size, open rosettes which become very bright red in the summer.
Grape Idol - US - unusual pinkish grey colour. Medium to large size, smooth, rounded leaves.
Grapetone - US - narrow leaved, small rosettes, an unusual shade of pinkish grey.
Graupurpur [P] - DE - medium size, darke purplish red rosettes. Good winter colour.
Green Apple [P] - UK - large, open rosettes, pale apple green glaucous leaves.
Green Gables [P] - US - small, open rosettes of pale green leaves covered with downy hairs, soon grows into a large clump.
Grey Dawn - US - (AM*1977) - medium to large, downy leaves of an unusual purplish grey colour.
Grey Ghost - UK - dull greyish green, large wide leaves.
Greyfriars [P] - UK - (BR*1975) - tightly packed, pointed leaves, dark greyish purple colour.
Hades - NL - large rosettes of upright purplish-red leaves with grey shades.
Hale Mau Mau - DE - very large, upright pale purplish-red shading to dark red.
Hart - DE - spring leaves short and green, becoming longer and orange-red in the summer.
Haullauer's Seedling - US - green leaves with apical tufts of hairs, turning deep red.
Happy [P] - US - large, very attractive wine red leaves, shading to green tips.
Hayling - UK - large, glossy leaves, dark purplish red, good colour all through the year.
Heigham Red - UK - pointed leaves, shades of green and red, dark red during the summer.
Hester - US - velvety leaves, red and green.
Hidde - BE - large, dark red, with long tapering leaves, good winter colour.
Icicle - US - attractive, medium size, green and red with heavy silver frosting.
Imperial - US - large, shapely rosettes, dull purplish red colour.
Irazu [P] - DE - attractive silver edged violet leaves, changes later to a dull greyish pink.
Iwo - DE - large open rosettes of short wide leaves, shading from dark red at the tips to yellowish orange at the base.
Jack Frost - UK - neat, many leafed rosettes, mainly green but with dense silver marginal hairs.
Jaspis - NL - large rosettes of wide, shapely leaves. Olive green and brown shading to purplish red.
Jelly Bean - US - unusual reddish-purple colour tinged with gold.
Jet Stream - US - small, symmetrical rosettes, dark purplish red with silver cilia.
Jewel Case - US - dense clustering rosettes, bright pinkish red.
Jolly Green Giant - US - large rosettes of nicely shaped, sharply pointed green leaves.
Jo's Spark - UK - medium sized rosettes, upright leaves, violet in the centre shading to greyish-green at the tips, leaves outlined with silver hairs.
Jungle Fires - US - large dark red rosettes, shading to greenish-brown at the leaf tips.
Kelly Jo - US - green in the spring, turning dark brownish red in the summer, produces many offsets.
Kermit - UK - medium size rosettes of dark red, sharply pointed leaves.
Kerneri - DE - pale green with apical tufts of hairs, outer leaves flushed with red.
King George - UK - long, narrow, red leaves with velvety pubescence and apical tufts.
Kip - US - an unusual greyish-purple colour, long pointed leaves with silver cilia.
Koko Flanel [P] - BE - Greyish-green, many leaved rosettes, covered with white hair.
Kramer's Purpur - BE - long purplish red leaves with silver marginal hairs.
Kramer's Spinrad [P] - BE - one of the largest S. arachnoideum cultivars, densely cobwebbed and distinctive. Outer leaves red but with green margins.
Kubi - UK - small rosettes of narrow, green and red, velvety leaves.
Lady Kelly [P] - UK - (BR*1978) - large rosettes of upright, purplish-grey leaves. Leaf tips sharply pointed.
Lavender And Old Lace [P] - UK - (GR*1975) - medium size, with leaves of a beautiful lavender colour, edged with silver cilia.
Lennik's Glory No. 1 - BE - beautiful deep wine red leaves covered with silvery down.
Leocadia's Nephew - UK - upright shapely leaves in shades of pink, red and green.
Lilac Time [P] - UK - large rosettes with a beautiful pale lilac colour in the summer.
Limelight [P] - UK - a large growing, pale yellowish green cultivar of S. calcareum, a very attractive plant.
Lipari [P] - DE - large rosettes which shade from green to dark purplish-red in the summer.
Lipstick - US - (BR*1976) - medium to large, leaves are bright red.
Lively Bug - US - very hairy rosettes, medium size, greyish green. A vigorous grower.
Lynn's Choice - US - large velvety leaves, an unusual brownish green colour.
Magnificum - US - large rosettes of pinkish purple leaves.
Maigret [P] - UK - small rosettes of narrow downy leaves which turn bright red in the spring.
Majestic - US - a very impressive 'arachnoideum' type cultivar. Many leafed, hairy rosettes covered with dense white cobweb.
Malabron - UK - (AM*1975) - upright. incurved leaves, pinkish colour, covered with fine down.
Marmalade [P] - US - redish-brown with pink overtones, dark brown leaf tips.
Medallion - US - medium size, flattened, symmetrical rosettes, brownish red colour.
Melanie [P] - DE - large downy rosettes, greenish-brown shading to dark brown tips.
Mercury - US - bright red rosettes, good colour throughout the spring and summer.
Merlin - UK - bronze-green colour, leaves tipped with brownish-red.
Midas - UK - neat rosettes of narrow green leaves, flushed with gold in the summer.
Mila [P] - CZ - large, attractively shaped leaves, beautiful bright glowing red colour.
Mini Frost - UK - vigorous growing, medium to large size with very hairy green leaves.
Moerkerk's Merit - BE - greyish green colour, densely hairy, produces many offsets.
Moondrops [P] - US - globular rosettes with a dense silvery cobweb.
Mondstein - DE - yellowish-green with sharply pointed, dark red tips.
More Honey - US - attractively shaped red leaves, flushed with gold.
Mount Hood - DE - large rosettes, wide pinkish-red leaves with shades of purple.
Mystic - UK - large, open rosettes of pinkish red leaves. A vigorous grower.
Nico - DE - dull green leaves but with distinctive red-brown tips.
Night Raven - US - large rosettes, in summer the leaves are very dark blackish purple.
Nigrum - UK - a dark tipped cultivar of S. tectorum.
Niobe - DE - large, yellowish-green leaves tipped with brown.
Noir - UK - large, many leafed rosettes, dark brownish red colour.
Norbert - BE - purplish-red leaves, shading to dull green leaf tips.
Noveau Pastel - UK - small, clustering rosettes, an unusual pinkish brown colour.
Oddity [P] - US - (BR*1978) - unusual leaves which are curved backwards on themselves so that they become almost tubular at the tips.
Olivette - US - (BR*1976) - large, symmetrical rosettes, olive green leaves with darker tips, grows very large in open ground.
Opitz [P] - ? - an attractive, greyish-green arachnoideum clone. (From Opitz)
Packardian - US - (SR*1975) - very large rosettes of velvety red leaves.
Palissander - BE - (AM*1981) - wide, upright, pointed leaves. Brilliant red with long white marginal cilia.
Pastel - UK - small to medium size, unusual pinkish brown leaves.
Patrician - US - medium to large, glowing orange-red in the spring.
Pekinese [P] - US - apple green leaves, flushed with pink, covered with a white cobweb, produces many offsets.
Pink Cloud - US - an 'arachnoideum' type cultivar with attractive pinkish-red leaves.
Pink Dawn - UK - bright pinkish-red leaves with white hairs. A vigorous grower.
Pink Puff - US - short, succulent leaves covered with down. Offsets are produced on rather long stolons which adds interest.
Pippin - US - (GR*1980) - medium size, symmetrical, many leafed rosettes, dark brownish red.
Pixie - US - very small, clustering rosettes, green and brownish red colour.
Plumb Rose - US - attractively shaped rosettes, dark purple with grey shadows.
Pluto - US - globular rosettes, short wide leaves, pink, grey and green.
Polaris - UK - long narrow leaves, bright red in the summer.
Pottsii - UK - small rosettes of bright green, narrow leaves, flushed with red.
Proud Zelda - US - large, velvety rosettes, brownish green leaves with dark tips, offsets on long stolons.
Purdy's 50-6 - US - green leaves flushed with dark brown, sharply pointed leaf tips.
Purdy's 90-1 - US - short, pinkish red downy leaves, open rosettes.
Purple King - UK - very dark purplish red colour, wide, sharply pointed leaves.
Purpuriese - DE - medium size, dark red with white apical tufts. Large numbers of offsets.
Quintessence - US - wide leaves with purplish-brown bases and green tips.
Raspberry Ice - US - (SR*1978) - pinkish red leaves with a heavy frosting of white hairs.
Red Ace [P] - UK - bright red, long narrow pointed leaves with silver marginal hairs, a very attractive and distinctive cultivar.
Red Delta - UK - bright crimson red, silver marginal hairs.
Red Devil [P] - UK - very dark red leaves, keeps it's colour well.
Red Flush [P] - UK - a cultivar of S. tectorum, large distinctive rosettes flushed with red in the spring.
Red Shadows - UK - long narrow leaves, very dark red, almost black, shading to red tips.
Reinhard (Reinhardt) [P] - DE - vivid emerald green rosettes of upright leaves with sharply contrasting black tips. Always grows well.
Rita Jane - US - (BR*1978) - large, greyish green rosettes, flushed with pink.
Risqué - US - purplish-pink in the centre, outer leaves bronze-green.
Rosie [P] - UK - pinkish red leaves with long white cilia, very prolific, soon grows into a large clump.
Rotkopf [P] - DE - shapely leaves, pinkish brown, pubescent. A beautiful cultivar, especially in late summer.
Rotund - US - short succulent green leaves with dark tips.
Rouge - UK - large, wide flat leaves, dark red in the summer.
Royal Flush - US - velvety leaves, an attractive pinkish colour.
Royal Ruby [P] - US - long, narrow, upright leaves, dark wine red colour.
Royanum - FR - one of the largest cultivars of S. tectorum, yellowish green leaves with brown tips.
Rubra Ash - US - downy leaves, pinkish-brown shading to green.
Rusty - US - large, rusty brown, smooth globular rosettes.
Saga - UK - large, open rosettes, dark purplish red, good colour throughout the year.
Shawnee - UK - medium size, very dark purple shading to almost black.
Shirley Moore - UK - pale green, attractively shaped rosettes.
Shirley's Joy - UK - (SR*1976) - medium size, pale green leaves shading to red, covered with long silvery hairs.
Silberspitz - CH - medium size, dark red with strong white marginal hairs and apical tufts. Produces large numbers of offsets on short stolons.
Silver Jubilee - BE - greyish green rosettes, covered with silvery hairs.
Silver Thaw [P] - US - small, very hairy rosettes, greyish green colour.
Silverine [P] - US - large, greyish-green rosettes, leaves with smal dark tip.
Sioux - DE - medium size, pinkish red and glowing orange.
Skrocki - DE - unusual greyish violet colour, shading to green, edged with silvery hairs.
Slabber's Seedling - ? - dark greyish pink rosettes, offsets on long thick stolons.
Smoky Jet - US - attractive pale pinkish-red, velvety leaves.
Soul - [P] UK - pale greyish-green leaves with a pink base.
Spherette - US - medium size, symmetrical, many leafed rosettes, bright red colour.
Spice - US - narrow succulent leaves, dark red, covered with downy hairs.
Spring Mist - US - pinkish purple, medium size, quickly produces a large clump of rosettes.
Sprite [P] - UK - a very prolific 'arachnoideum' type cultivar, green and red, medium size.
Starburst [P] - UK - a beautiful cultivar with dark purplish-red leaves tipped with greyish-green.
Starshine - US - dark pinkish red, smooth leafed rosettes, upright leaves.
State Fair - UK - (AM*1984) - attractive lilac coloured leaves, medium to large size.
Sun Waves [P] - US - the low, wide rosettes are very unusual shade of gold-pink.
Sunset - DE - a cultivar of S. tectorum, dark red tipped leaves shading to a glowing orange at the base.
Superama - US - green leaves tinged with dark red. Distinct silvery marginal hairs give the rosettes a frosted appearance.
Tamberlane - US - small, tightly leafed rosettes, shades of green and pink.
Tarn Hows - UK - large rosettes of dark violet-red leaves.
Teck - DE - large, bronze-green 'tectorum' type cultivar.
Thunder - US - large open rosettes, pinkish grey green with fine pubescence.
Titania - US - very large, velvety leaves, green shading to brown with darker tips, produces offsets on long stolons.
Tordeur's Memory - BE - dark, wine red rosettes, narrow glossy leaves with silver cilia.
Traci Sue - US - beautiful velvety leaves, unusual pinkish fawn colour.
Trail Walker - UK - sturdy dark purple-brown rosettes producing many offsets.
Tree Beard - US - unusual rosettes of many long narrow leaves, dark blackish-red shading to brown.
Topaz - DE - greenish-gold leaves, small dark red tips.
Triste - UK - medium size, sharply pointed, brownish red leaves, a cultivar of S. tectorum.
Truva - UK - distinctive pink and green rosettes with incurved leaves.
Twilight Blues - US - medium size, leaves take on violet-blue shade in the summer.
Unicorn - US - long upright, olive green leaves with sharply pointed dark tips.
Vanbaelen [P] - BE - large, attractively shaped rosettes. Pinkish-red shading to green.
Video - UK - large, rapid growing rosettes of smooth leaves, dark purplish red colour.
Violet Queen - NL - beautiful pale pinkish-violet leaves. Outer leaves and leaf tips shading to dull red.
Virgil - US - medium size, unusual bluish purple leaves with dark tips.
Vulcano - DE - large purplish-red, open rosettes.
Weirdo - US - small, green, distorted rosettes, narrow, pointed leaves. The rosettes appear to lack a central bud.
Wendy - UK - velvety leaves, medium size, green shading to pinkish red.
Westerlin - US - large, cherry red rosettes.
Zakenkrone [P] - DE - attractive, symmetrical rosettes. Dark purple leaf bases shading to greenish-gold at the tips.
Zenocrate - UK - wide, upright leaves. Green, shading to bright carmine red.
Zeppelin - DE - small, clustering dark red rosettes, soon forming a tight clump.
Zone - UK - hairy leaves, medium size, turning bright red in the summer.
Zulu - DE - dark red, paler leaf bases but almost black tips.