Aeonium arboreum var. atropurpureum
Aeonium manriqueorum “atropurpureum”
Aeonium areboreum var. atropurpureum is a nursery produced cultivar, born from gardening. There are doubts about its botanic classification as a cultivar of the species Aeonium Arboreum, because it’s native of the Canary islands, while A. arboreum is not. So a new possible interpretation suggest that Aeonium Arboreum “Atropurpurem” could be a cultivar of the species “Aeonium manriqueorum”. It is a succulents shrub producing rosettes of dark purple-red leaves, and each rosette grows at the top of a branch. Flowers are light yellow and they grow in an inflorescence which is a raceme (the botanical name for “cluster”) in mid-summer.
Tips for cultivation of Aeonium arboreum var. atropurpureum are actually really similar to the ones related to other Aeonium species. Water it only when the soil becomes completely dry in winter, and deeply and seldom in summer. Excessive drought in summer occurs leaves curling. Put it under direct light to enhance the purple tones of the leaves. A well-drained substrate and a relatively frequent repotting are advised. The plant doesn’t bear temperatures below 0ºC. Try to protect it from frost with mulching, if you keep it outdoor. The plant go dormant in summer, and its growth season is between the end of winter and the spring.
Aeonium arboreum var. atropurpureum can be propagated from cuttings or seeds. Cuttings have to be taken off from April to June, when the main stem has become to much tall. You should simply take the apical rosette and put it to root.
The plants of the genus Aeonium are very efficient in the depuration of the environment and very robust. For these characteristics they are, among the plants, studied by NASA for future use inside the spacecraft. Its name derives from the greek word aionios, which means eternal, immortal, a name that has earned both for its strength and for its affinity with the Sempervivum genus. In fact the Aeonium are plants extremely robust even for the standard of the great family of succulents; they can tolerate long periods of drought, as well as short periods of intense cold.