This species is an endemism of the islands “Tenerife” and “La Palma” in Canary island. A species is “endemic” of an area when it is present only there. Its favorite environments are the eroded, volcanic soils of Tenerife.
Aeonium sedifolium, also called “Dwarf Aeonium”. It a little shrub, reaching maximum 15 centimeters of height, it is densely branched and it has really fleshy, tiny green leaves, with veins of bright red, different from the ones of other “Aeonium” species for being smaller and similar to the leaves of plants belonging to the genus “Sedum”, an other group of species of the family of Crassulaceae. The name “Sedifolium” actually is a reference to this morphological resemblance. An other feature that distinguish Aeonium sedifolium is the fact that the leaves in the clusters radiate upwards, while other Aeoniums have flat rosettes. Flowers are bright yellow, star-shaped. They grow in an inflorescence which is actually a stem, taller than the plant.
Tips for cultivation of Aeonium sedifolium are more or less the same of the ones for the entire Aeonium genus. A sunny position is recommended, in this case to enhance the beautiful red veins of the leaves of this plant. Put it in a well-drained soil, water it seldom, more or less twice a week, but only when the soil is completely dry, and protect it from frost with mulching if you choose to plant it outdoors. Or also you could put it indoors: the minimum temperature for her to survive is 0ºC, but the plant needs an average temperature of at least 12 ºC.
You can propagate it by cuttings or seed. Cuttings are advised for old rosettes if the plant becomes old, messy and chaotic, to make a sort of pruning and to guarantee the survival at least of the new plant. The recommended period to make cuttings is autumn, and also 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.