Aeonium lindleyi variegata
Sempervivum tortuosum var. lindleyi
Aeonium lindleyi is a perennial, evergreen subshrub up to 50 cm tall. It’s really branched and on the top of each branch lies a rosette of green, hairy, sticky leaves. The shape of the leaves is rhomboidal, an they are 2-4 centimeters long and 5-7 mm thick. In the variety A. lindleyi “variegata”, the green of the leaves alternates with a creamy yellow in pretty, bright fantasies. Branches are also hairy (the botanical term for “hairy” is “puberulent”, or “pubescent”) and viscid. Flowers are yellow, star-shaped, with 8-9 petals, and they develop in an inflorescence called in botany “cymose-panicle”, which is similar to a raceme.
The species belonging to Aeonium genus require a sunny location. Light is really important to enhance the possible pink-reddish tinges of the color of the leaves. This plant needs a well-draining substrate, so water it twice a month, only when you see that the soil is completely dry. It is also tolerant to low temperatures, but never until 0ºC. If you planted it outdoors, a good way to protect it from frost is mulching, which means to cover the soil around it with layers of different materials: it can be straw, or black plastic tarps. A possible problem of straw and of organic matter in general, is that they retain humidity on the surface of soil. During winter, this could affect the plant, which prefers a well-drained, dry substrate.
Propagation can be realized using seeds or cuttings. By cutting you can put to root rosettes or single leaves. The cuttings have to be planted in soil once they dry up. Cutting is recommended in the case of a messy structure which has to be pruned, and it has to be executed during autumn or spring.
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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