Semps Are ‘In’Master Gardener ScoopFeb. 25, 2015

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Semps Are ‘In’

By Leora McTall, Master Gardener

“Semps are a hot item in the plant world!” This statement was made by Martha Smith, University of Illinois Educator, at a recent conference in Collinsville. Did you know that plant popularity is a lot like the clothing fashion trends, with plants going in and out of fashion, just like hem lengths and designer jeans?

So what are Semps? Their botanical name is Sempervivum (meaning always living). But their common name will be very familiar – Hens and Chicks – a/k/a Cat and Kittens, Old Man and Old Woman, and the European name of House Leek, because they were grown on roofs due to limited space.

Our grandmothers grew Hens and Chicks, but they would hardly recognize some of the newly hybridized varieties. Since this plant is so easily propagated, hundreds of these succulents have been introduced recently. Sempervivums are closely related to Jovibarba, Aeonium, Sedum and Echevaria. It is sometimes hard to tell the difference of some of these, even by the experts.

For More, Please Read The February 25 Edition Of The Nashville News.

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