Sempervivum(redirected from houseleek)
Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.
a genus of plants of the family Crassulaceae. They are perennial herbs with fleshy, alternate, sessile leaves (the lower leaves are in radical rosettes). The shoots that do not bear flowers are in the form of spherical rosettes. The regular, bisexual flowers are yellowish, pink, or purple and gathered in cymose-paniculate inflorescences. The double perianth is for the most part six-to 20-parted. The fruit is multiple.
There are approximately 30 species of Sempervivum, distributed in Europe, the Caucasus, Asia Minor, Southwest Asia, and northwestern Africa (Atlas). The plants grow on rocky slopes in alpine and subalpine zones. Eleven species are found in the USSR, primarily in the Caucasus. In the European USSR, they grow in dry, sandy places. The species S. zeleborii and S. soboliferum, which are often separated into the genus Jovibarba, are often found in pine forests. The young rosettes and leaves of S. soboliferum are edible. Many species of Sempervivum are cultivated as ornamentals.