Sempervivum Species, Hen-and-Chickens, Houseleek, Old Man & Woman, Roof House Leek

Sempervivum arachnoideum

Family: Crassulaceae (krass-yoo-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Sempervivum (sem-per-VEE-vum) (Info)
Species: arachnoideum (a-rak-NOY-dee-um) (Info)
Synonym:Sempervivum doellianum
Synonym:Sempervivum heterotrichum
View this plant in a garden


Cactus and Succulents

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:




under 6 in. (15 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual



Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Seward, Alaska

Carmichael, California

Clayton, California

Fremont, California

Lakeside, California

Norwalk, California

Perris, California

San Diego, California

San Leandro, California

Susanville, California

Vacaville, California

Vista, California

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Cleveland, Georgia

Hampton, Illinois

Parsons, Kansas

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

South Berwick, Maine

Dracut, Massachusetts

Scottville, Michigan

Neptune, New Jersey

Roswell, New Mexico

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Mooresville, North Carolina

Cleveland, Ohio

Farmdale, Ohio

Glouster, Ohio

Ashland, Oregon

Gold Hill, Oregon

Klamath Falls, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Millersburg, Pennsylvania

Watsontown, Pennsylvania

El Paso, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

South Jordan, Utah

Puyallup, Washington

White Center, Washington

Neenah, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 24, 2014, JeffSers from Lakeside, CA wrote:

Very tough little plant. Great grower. A great addition to your collection.

I first got this plant in a 1 inch pot with three rosettes to it. I removed the smaller two from the "mother" and had no problem rooting on in a bowl with other succulents and the other in the ground. The problem came for the one in the ground when a gopher decided to have it for lunch, so be careful about that. After a few days of heavy rain, the "mother" threw about 12 "babies" in the 3 inch pot I bumped it into.


On Dec 6, 2010, Alexwtf_93 from Susanville, CA wrote:

very easy plant to grow in sun or shade, it can be very small sometimes and grow between rocks and is small enough for almost any container garden


On Sep 6, 2010, terrora wrote:

Greetings...I have these and their flowers are unique and lovely...but our lot gets too hot for these beauties to stay in full sun. I keep them in partial shade...or in morning sun and they do fine (-_^)


On Jun 30, 2009, lehua_mc from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have Sempervivum Hens and Chicks 'Frosty'. They are small, green, tight clusters, like little pin cushions, and covered with fine cobwebs, forming a dense 'pool' of white fuzz in their center. When it starts to open up to flower, you can see its burgundy tips. I got the beautiful pink flowers after one winter in the ground, in late June.


On Jul 4, 2006, empressjoan from Ashland, OR wrote:

After several years in a small pot, my plant burst into bloom and looks quite like a tiny Gaudi cathedral!


On Jun 28, 2004, jhyshark from Scottville, MI (Zone 4b) wrote:

Just did some more research and my picture of the one with reddish leaves may be cultivar "Cebenese"


On Nov 14, 2003, wnstarr from Puyallup, WA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Edgewood, Washington
The "cobweb" hen & chick if blooming in red is sempervivum arachnoideum rubrum. I have charished this interesting little fellow for years. Has survived, rain, hail, snow, sleet. Deep freezes and never fails to delight me with its durability. Love the cobweb affect, arachnoideum refers to arachnoids, or spiders. Rubrum is red, for the bloom. Good luck, and happy gardening.


On Sep 3, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Some commercial sources sell this plant as Sempervivum arachnoidem cv. 'Cobweb' although there is little supporting evidence for it being a cultivar.


On Aug 31, 2003, pleb from Plymouth,,
United Kingdom (Zone 9a) wrote:

Always an interesting plant and easy to grow but resents winter wet. The 'cobweb' catches and holds the rain so that rot is likely to set in.


On Aug 31, 2003, Happenstance from Northern California, CA wrote:

This variety has rosettes of all basically the same size, as opposed to the "moms & babies" generally seen. After bloom the rosette dies and other smaller ones increase in size to fill up the space.

See the images I've uploaded for the bloom, decline and death of rosettes.