Saturday, 29 September 2012

Sempervivum ossetiense in flower

A very late flower has appeared on this species which I have had in cultivation here since 1996.

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This plant, properly Sempervivum altum var. ossetiense, was found in 1935 in   the central Caucasus along the old Ossetian Military Road by Walter Ingwersen where it grew on bare limestone escarpments with Gypsophila aretioides.

An attractive species, it has been called "la belle caucasienne."

As well as the general character of the plant, the interior of the flower has some fascinating shapes and colours.

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Thursday, 19 July 2012

Some Sempervivum flowers

Many of my plants are now flowering well, so here is a gallery of some of them.  The names are those under which they were originally aquired and sometimes do not fit the description of what they are supposed to be very well:

20120712 Sempervivum ballsii from Kambeecho flower

Sempervivum ballsii from Kambeecho, a place in north eastern Greece near Aetomilitsa, one of the highest villages in the country.

20120712 Sempervivum Green Ice flower

Sempervivum Green Ice.  This looks like a large form of S. arachnoideum.

20120712 Sempervivum kosaninii flower

Sempervivum kosaninii.  Named, I think, after the Serbian botanist Nedeljko KoŇ°anin (1874-1934).

20120712 Sempervivum Rheinhardt flower

Sempervivum 'Reinhard' (sometimes spelt 'Reinhardt').  Raised by Martin Fischer from Germany in1979.  One parent said to be S. cantabricum.

IMG_0409 Sempervivum Tristesse

Sempervivum 'Tristesse'  A cultivar of S. calcareum raised by Gustaaf van der Steen in the Netherlands in 1984.

IMG_0412 Noir auctt

Sempervivum 'Noir'.  Parents: S. "marmoreum" collected on Monte Tirone x S. tectorum 'Nigrum'.  Monte Tirone is in Italy.  Raised by Nicholas Moore in Britain in 1950.

Last but not least, one of my unnamed cultivars has produced a magnificent fastigiate or cristate flowering stalk like the business end of a coral reef:

IMG_0417 fastigiate

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Some local hazards

Most of my houseleeks have now left their winter dormancy and are growing away well.  The weather however, has been very mixed with a long cold spell followed now by a heatwave.

Last week we had a brisk hail storm and most of the semps had small ice balls wedged between their leaves.  The picture below is of Sempervivum  dzhavachischvilii with a hail stone in the centre of its rosette (it put itself there - no manipulation from me).

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Also of interest is another small toadstool that has grown up beside a rosette of Sempervivum 'Rubin'.  Downloading the photo enabled me to spot the houseleek seedling bottom centre of the picture.

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Monday, 14 May 2012

Squirrel in the houseleeks

It has been cold so far this May, but yesterday the sun shone for a while and the grey squirrel that skitters round our garden took a sunbathing nap on a wooden shelf where I keep some of my houseleeks.  I see squirrels every day, but this is the first time I have seen one basking.

20120514 sleeping squirrel

The Sempervivums behind are, from right to left, Black Mountain, Green Ice, Blood Tip and S. atlanticum.  The plant in the pot at the rear is a Deptford pink, Dianthus armeria, put on the shelf to stop the rabbits eating it.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Two seedlings

Last year I germinated dozens of seedling from a dark red rosetted Sempervivum.  Few of them look like the parent and I have started selecting the most promising.

The first one I potted up separately is quite large, with long narrow leaves and it is already producing offsets.  Because it is quite hairy raindrops collect on the leaves and stand out clearly against the greyish background of the leaves.  (The mother plant is in the top right of the picture).

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My other houseleeks do not seem to do this, at least not in any obvious way.

My second selection is much smaller, but with similarly coloured leaves.  These, however, are distinctively fringed with long white hairs and the leaf edges seem to curl in somewhat, which enhances the hairy nature of the rosette.

20120507 Sempervivum Balts Barkstis (8)