Saucer Plant

Aeonium urbicum

Family: Crassulaceae (krass-yoo-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Aeonium (ee-OH-nee-um) (Info)
Species: urbicum (UR-bee-kum) (Info)
Synonym:Sempervivum urbicum
Synonym:Sempervivum retusum


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Cactus and Succulents

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring


Grown for foliage




Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

This plant is monocarpic

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Los Angeles, California

Richmond, California

San Diego, California

San Marino, California

Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 28, 2011, zone10 from San Diego, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

Following winter rains, these aeoniums plump up to enormous sizes, sometimes 2'-3' in diameter. They are relatively easy to care for, surviving on lean soil, little to no summer water, and in shade to full sun. This plant seems to grow much larger if they are sheltered from the hot summer sun. As with most aeoniums, these plants propogate from cuttings very easily. During winter/spring, I cut the new side growths/pups when they are about 6" in diameter, and stick them in the wet soil. It has always been advised to harden them off first, but I have never done this and have never had one rot. Best to withhold summer water and allow these plants to go dormant. The heads will shrink to a fraction of their full size, but I have found aeoniums to be healthier when allowed their natural gr... read more


On Mar 16, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

In nature this is a nonbranching Aeonium, and very tall up to over 5' tall, from the Canary Islands. Large heads up to 10" across. Green color. Good in groups.

Note: many plants sold in nurseries as 'Dinner Plate' or 'Saucer Plant' Aeoniums are obviously either hybrids of this or something else entirely different as these plants, though sharing the huge head of A urbicum, are often stemmless, or are branching and tend to flower at a height on only a few inches. None of these characteristics are consistent with this species, which is a tall, robust, unbranching plant. I have no idea how the nursery plants ended up with this name other than possibly hybridization some time ago, but more often than not, a plant sold or displayed as Aeonium urbicum is NOT Aeonium urbicum as... read more


On Feb 3, 2003, albleroy from Wavre/ greenhous +/- 2500 species, IA wrote:

A fine plant, usually recognizable by its tall unbranched stem, from 3ft upto !!! 7 feet high. Leaves in a broad densee rosette, glabrous, green or glaucous, elongate-spathulate. Inflorescence very large, glabrous, pyramidal up to 80 cm long. Grows from sea-level upto 1100 m high.
Seedlings available on request.
We find it in Teno, Anaga, Santiago, Masca, La Laguna etc.

Indeed dear, it is a non branching Aeonium who, after flowering, will dye.