Sempervivum

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Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14
Sempervivum

At one point in time, perhaps a decade ago, I had about 200 species and cultivars of Sempervivum and Jovibarba. The idea was to create a patchwork quilt garden of colorful semps. But of course, with my ridiculous schedule, my potted semps eeked out a meager living in pots too small, languishing frrom utter neglect, and sadly I lost many (most) of them over the years, and some that I still do have the labels are lost or worn off... grrrrrr.

A few years ago an offset from a tray of potted Sempervivum cultivars dropped off into a gravel "drip strip" under the roof overhang, the semp doing very well there and growing into a pretty clump. But I don't what which one it is, although I seem to recall a red ciliate one called 'Maigret', maybe that is its name.

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

The following photo shows a sempervivum patch in the garden, illustrating two mistakes.

1.  Alliums and semps don't mix!  Allium seeds drop between the rosettes, a perfect home for seeds to germinate, and one ends up with this visual chaos, and it is near impossible to extract bulb seedlings.  The allium in this case is A. flavum ssp. tauricum.

2.  Most of the semp patch is a cultivar labelled 'Bronco'.  I bought most of my semps in the days when reliable nursery sources for them existed, often nurseries run by semp hybridizers themselves, or nurseries with direct connection with such semp hybridizers.  A couple years ago I bought a young plant labelled S. 'Bronco' at a plant sale, so I planted next to what I labelled as 'Bronco', but as you can see in the lower left corner of the patch, it is a different color semp, so is either one the true cultivar?  It is a decade or more since the stars of Sempervivum hybridizing ended their activities, so getting true-to-name cultivars is more challenging than ever.

*Update:  just dug out an Microsoft Access database I created to help track Sempervivum cultivars, and I find this for S. 'Bronco':
Hybridizer: Martin Haberer, 1977 "dark green lvs well edged & tipped dark purple", my plant purchased from Squaw Mountain (no longer in business)... so maybe the greener one in the lower left is the real McCoy?

Update #2:  took a fresh photo, and in just a couple weeks, the greener rosettes colored up red similar to the main patch.  Checking my label, I see that I bought the semp in 2005, a Sunny Border plant. I think I goofed up, when I planted the two cultivars together, thinking they were the same, one is 'Bronco' and one is 'Brock'.  In the top photo, clearly the greener rosettes are larger and with more leaves in each rosette.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

I don't have a summery pic of Maigret, but this is what I have in early May.  The pot is 2.5 inch, so the chicks are quite small.  could easily be a match.  As you know, coloring and form changes so much with the season.

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

I also have Bronco purchased from Betty Ann's Rice Creek Gardens here in MN about 10 years ago.  The type I have is like your original.  All three pics are taken in May.

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Here's what I have as 'Bronco'... sounds like it matches, more or less, the hybridizer's description that you posted:

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Thanks everyone for helping to confirm IDs on my two semps.  Looks like some of you are semp fans too!  I updated my 'Bronco' photo with a new photo today, and the sneaky feeling that I goofed up, and planted a similar named cultivar ('Brock') with my 'Bronco'.  These plants are truly chameleon plants, you'd almost need to photograph them monthly, to get a sense about what they look like at any give time.  And then, change their environs slightly (soil, exposure, etc) and they'll grow and color differently too.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

I plant lots of Sempervivums and other succulents at my cottage. They grow in nothing but cracks in the rock. Sorry no pictures yet. And as you say Mark, they change color but the level of light counts most. As usual I have no labels either so I don't know the cultivar names. I am deeply impressed by all of you taking care of all the labels!

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Hoy wrote:

I am deeply impressed by all of you taking care of all the labels!

I don't like seeing exposed labels in the garden, so I don't keep them at all.  I just make maps, and keep a master list.

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Skulski wrote:

Hoy wrote:

I am deeply impressed by all of you taking care of all the labels!

I don't like seeing exposed labels in the garden, so I don't keep them at all.  I just make maps, and keep a master list.

I agree with that sentiment Lori, but I'm afraid I do have a "label graveyard" going on here.  I used to make maps, but they get out of date, and I can lose my maps as well, then I need a map to find my maps :o ;D

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

I tried to make files but got tired of the writing! Startet in "the old days" with a shoebox etc. Maybe I had done better with using a camera and laptop. Instead of writing I tried to remember but you know as Kelaidis is saying, forgetting plant names in 50 years! Sometimes I have labels but the blackbirds pick them faster than I can replace them!
I know the value of a correct name especially when discussing plants in a forum like this. When I hunt for plants or seed I always look for labels and hope they are right (often they are not!).

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

I also used to map gardens.  Now I keep a list of the plants I have in each garden as well as a master list, as well as labels (usually hidden) with the plants.  Keeping track of my plants, with provenance and other pertinent notes was the reason for me getting my first computer.  Understanding the rudiments of the Excel program was one of the first things I learned.

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

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