Houseleek

Price: $ 6.50

Sempervivum tectorum

Also known as Hen and Chicks, this super hardy succulent (sempervivum means 'always alive') is not only easy to grow, but also has a wealth of edible and medicinal uses. The young leaves and shoots can be eaten raw, and the juice is said to make a refreshing drink. This herb contains tannin, fatty oil, calcium malate, malic and fumaric acid, and has been used widely for its diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties and the capability to tighten the skin and mucous membranes. It has similar properties to aloe - soothing burns, bites and stings, and useful for skin complaints such as corns and warts. The juice can be used as drops to combat ear infections and is supposed to be particularly effective combined with honey in the the treatment of uterine cysts and fibroids.  The plant hails from alpine areas and thrives in full sun on poor soils - it is suitable for rock walls, gravel gardens, cracks in pathways, container growing and for living roofs. It is both frost and drought hardy - you can't go wrong with this plant (except to overwater it!) Ground cover height 5cm, up to 30cm with flower stem.

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