Aeonium leucoblepharum


Aeonium chrysanthum
Aeonium leucoblepharum var. glandulosum
Sempervivum chrysanthum var. glandulosum
Sempervivum leucoblepharum


This plant is native from North-Eastern Africa, especially Etiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Uganda. It can also be found upon the mountains of Yemen.


Aeonium leucoblepharum is an evergreen succulent which form a branched shrub up to 75-80 centimeters high and 50 cm wide. Each branch bear a rosette of pointed, green-reddish-pinkish leaves (the color depends on the exposure to sunlight: if the plant is put in a bright spot, the leaves become more pinkish). In the central part of each leaf there is a really beautiful red stripe. This features make it really good for being put in terracotta pots. The inflorescence is a raceme of yellow flowers, with 7-10 petals. This species is really variable: this means that different individuals of the same species can present meaningful differences.


The original environment of Aeonium leucoblepharum is high mountain, so this plant is drought-tolerant and it needs a well-draining soil that can  imitate the poor, rocky soil of mountain. You should water it every two weeks, when you see that the soil has become completely dry. Even if it’s more tolerant to cold temperatures than the other plants of the genus “Aeonium”, A. leucolepharum should be put indoor in late autumn and winter, when the temperatures fall below 0ºC, or either it should be protected from frost with mulching if planted outdoor. Put the plant in a bright spot: full exposure to sunlight enhance the pink hints of its leaves, although the plant grows without any problem also in partial shade.


As for the other plants belonging to the genus “Aeonium”, A. leucoblepharum can be propagated by cutting or seeds. If you choose the method of cutting, you can put to root leaves or either entire rosettes, ensuring that they are completely dry before putting them in soil. The good period for propagate cuttings is spring or autumn.


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.

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