A Minute in the Garden: A series from A Gardener’s Notebook
The first in a series of garden minutes from The Gardens at Lake Merritt in Oakland, California.
Aeonium (tree houseleek) is a genus of about 35 species of succulent, subtropical plants of the family Crassulaceae. The name comes from the ancient Greek “aionos” (ageless). While most of them are native to the Canary Islands, some are found in Madeira, Morocco, and in East Africa (for example in the Semien Mountains of Ethiopia).
The rosette leaves are on a basal stem. Low-growing Aeonium species are A. tabuliforme and A. smithii; large species include A. arboreum, A. valverdense and A. holochrysum.
Aeonium are not frost-resistant. They are related to the genera Sempervivum, Aichryson and Monanthes, which is easy to see from their similar flower and inflorescences. Recently, the genus Greenovia has been placed within Aeonium
Aeoniums require little water (irrigation every 15 days) and in winter watering can be reduced to up to two months to survive cold conditions. It needs sun or partial shade. In general the green aeoniums prefer some shade – the purple ones like full sun. They will not withstand frost and extreme temperatures. In the summer they must be outside for good growth, and fall safekeeping and care that the ambient temperature is below 10 º C. The aeonium does not require a particular soil but it must be free draining. In sandy soils compacted plant grows best. It grows well in direct ground or in pots. When the plant is located directly on the ground the plants need shelter from the direct sun (especially if they have been indoors for the winter) and frost or low winter temperatures.— Wikipedia.org