Aeonium (ay-OH-nee-um)


Relatives: Crassula, Kalanchoe, Sempervivum, Cotyledon

Aeonium, sometimes known as the "tree houseleek”, is a genus of about 35 species of succulent, subtropical plants of the family Crassulaceae. Many species are popular in horticulture. The genus name comes from the ancient Greek "aionos" (Ageless). While most of the genus is native to the Canary Islands, some are found in Madeira, Morocco, and in East Africa. The succulent leaves are typically arranged in a dense and spreading rosette on a basal (base) stem. A feature which distinguished this genus from many of its relatives is the manner in which the flowers bear free petals, which are divided into either six or twelve sections. Each rosette produces a central inflorescence (in a flowering plant, a cluster of flowers on a branch or a system of branches) only once, and then it dies back (though it often produces branching offsets to produce more rosettes). Aeoniums popularity has resulted in much hybridizing, giving rise to several cultivars of mixed or unknown parentage.