Hens And Chicks (Sempervivum)

Hens And Chicks (Sempervivum) is the name given to a plant that is practically kept as new throughout its life, hence the Latin name. It is able to maintain at all times its smoothness and brilliance of the leaves. Its scientific name is Sempervivum. They have great capacity to survive under adverse conditions or that hinder their development

Varieties and generalities

The evergreen belongs to the genus of 30 varieties of the Crassulaceae family. All the varieties of this family have one aspect in common. And they are able to grow in the form of a rosette.

The main use of the Hens And Chicks (Sempervivum) is ornamental. Its flowers can be of various shades (similar to roses) and offer an elegant color to the garden or public place. When several different species are cultivated with different colors, a colorful and colorful panorama can be observed.

Among the species that we find are: Sempervivum tectorum, the most common of all; Sempervivum alpinum, native to the Alps; and Sempervivum montanum. Also included are Sempervivum arachnoideum , Sempervivum wulfeniSempervivum grandiflorum and Sempervivum calcareum.

Main characteristics

This plant is continuously preserved in its green and lustrous color. It maintains the smoothness and lighting quite well. Its leaves are of an intense green, and some species have shades of color at the tips. There are also red, yellow or purple.

The stem is green and ends in flowers of pink, red, white and yellow. These flowers can only be observed during the summer season. They usually have a star shape and in the warmer time of the year is when the flowers are most showy. It reaches 30 cm in height.

In general, the evergreen plant keeps growing for several years before it blooms for the first time. Undoubtedly, it is a pretty beautiful bush. It is used for decorative purposes worldwide. You can find it in vases as well as in earth and pots. The varieties are more valued to cover and ornament those sunnier and drier areas.

Habitat and distribution area

This plant is originally from Spain. It began to expand from the Canary Islands. You can see it bloom in the peninsula’s mountain ranges. Not only is it found in Spain, but it also spans the Alps, the Carpathians, the Balkans, Turkey, the mountains of Armenia and the Caucasus.

They have the capacity to store water in their fleshy leaves. This action facilitates survival in the driest and rockiest areas. Thanks to its great ability to adapt to the most hostile environments, this plant manages to thrive in the most difficult environments. When you have it in the home, it does not require much care or space.

As for their multiplication, they have great capacity to spread and reproduce in a fast way.

Reproduction and care

Although you do not have much care, it is better to give a review to keep them always in their best condition. When the circumstances are good, the everlasting spreads rapidly through bulbs . Its flowers are initially hermaphroditic. Later, the stamens bend away from the carpels of the center of the flower, so self-fertilization is not easy.

To reproduce them is better by seeds. If the children are separated, the better. You can grow it both in a pot, in vases or even on the ground directly. If you need to be transplanted, it is convenient to wait for the spring season where the temperatures are more pleasant for them.

As for their care, it is not a very demanding plant , but it is better to have them in a limestone soil with good drainage. The ponding can kill them. It does not require special payment, but it is convenient to move the land every two years. Irrigation should be moderate and not tend to be attacked by pests or diseases.

If you choose to have it in a pot, it is recommended that you use a porous substrate, since although it could live without problems in black peat alone, it would have to control a lot the risks, because it is sensitive to root rot. Thus, a good mix would be the following: 50% black peat + 30% perlite + 20% river sand.

The Hens And Chicks (Sempervivum) plant should always be placed in full sun, but in the event that you live in an area where the climate is extremely hot (above 30 degrees continuously) it is preferable to put them in the shade a few hours a day.

Raw Material For Some Industries

To make matters worse, this plant also has medicinal properties and multiple benefits. It is used to treat inflammatory conditions that are related to pharyngitis, tracheitis, otitis and candidiasis . To treat some conditions, it is necessary to make a juice with the leaves. This juice is used to treat ulcers, pimples and some burns. It can also relieve the symptoms and itching of mosquito bites and other insects.

The active principles are what give this medicinal plant its medicinal properties. These active ingredients are tannins, resins, flavonoids, organic acids (malic, formic and isocitric), alkaloids and mucilages.

Modern pharmacological and chemical analyzes, elaborated especially with the alpine species Sempervivum tectorum, have detected chemical elements with antimicrobial, immunomodulatory and hepatoprotective virtues, as well as with antioxidant, antihyperlipidemic and free radicals exterminating properties.

For all this, the evergreen has become a beautiful, long-lasting plant, protective of homes and also of health.

As you can see, this plant is one of the most complete.

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