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Aeonium zwartkop

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Aeonium simsii x zwartkop

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Aeonium zwartkop is a striking larger purple aeonium. It forms clumps of 3- to 4-foot tall stems topped with rosettes of purple black leaves. It is largely a winter grower and is somewhat dormant in warm, dry summers.

This is a great plant for bringing contrasting dark foliage into xeriscape and low-water gardens. Aeonium zwartkop looks spectacular when contrasted with gray or silver-blue foliage, and also provides an interesting contrast when rising above grasses like Nassella Tenuissima. It also works well in containers – alone or combined with other succulents.

The best leaf color is achieved with at least 3-4 hours of full sun.

In spring, Aeonium zwartkop blooms, sending up conical clusters of small bright yellow flowers of typical crassulaceae structure. Flowering taxes the plant and blooming stems usually die.

Aeonium zwartkop can be propagated from stem cuttings or grown from seed. When stems become too tall, cut them and allow the cut to dry, then replant the cut stem. The old stem sprout new growth and eventually branch to become a multi-headed plant.

There is some disagreement over the name of this cultivar between the Dutch ‘Zwartkop’ and German ‘Schwarzkopf’ though both names mean “black head”.

This aeonium cultivar is more deer and snail resistant than many aeoniums. Note that mature plants may be hardy to 25°F, but leaf damage will occur below 28°F so plants should be protected below 30°F.

Horticultural Data

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Common Names: Tree Houseleek
Family: Crassulaceae
Origin: This plant is a nursery cross with parent plants that are endemic to the Canary Islands
Size Label: 1 gallon
Height: 1-3′
Width: 1-2′
Cold Tolerance: 25 to 30°F; -3.9 to -1.1°C
Heat Tolerance: High heat tolerance
Light Requirement: Full sun along the coast to part shade in hot inland climates
Water needs: Drought tolerant but needs more water while in active growth in fall through spring
Maintenance: Remove spent flower spikes as desired
Uses: This succulent can be used to create visual interest in containers, roof decks, lawn edges, borders, and rock gardens. It looks great when grown in colonies on slopes and when planted in mass groupings as a taller groundcover. It also provides a nice contrast to cactus and other succulents. Good along the ocean as it tolerates some salt spray.
Propagation: This plant can be easily propagated by taking stem cuttings. Allow the stem cutting to dry for a day and callus over before planting to avoid rot. It may not set seed or come true from seed because it is a hybrid.
Problems: Snails and slugs can damage the leaves. Needs well-draining soils to avoid root or stem rot.

Research Links:

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/96242/
http://www.agaveville.org/viewtopic.php?f=65&t=3839

Shipping & Availability

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There is a minimum purchase of any 4 plants for online orders. All plants shipped bare root. Other sizes may be available for pick up from our growing grounds in Fallbrook, CA. For more information, give us a call at 760-990-4762.
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