Sunday 11 August 2013

Sempervivum Sunday: S. 'Oddity'

Another of the aptly named varieties today, sempervivum 'Oddity' is a US cultivar of S. tectorum and is one of the most distinctive plants around.

It is is very slightly hairy around the edge of the leaves, and is green, with brown tips.  What sets it apart is that the leaves at first glance appear to be tubes. Infact these tubes are formed by the leaves folding back. It makes for an interesting plant.

Size wise, it fits into the medium group, at around 5-8cm.  It is very slow and offset, so do not expect big clumps. On the other hand it does not (as far as I know) seem to flower, so it has time to multiply instead of rushing.

Seems good for winter, although it is so slow I am not sure if it doesn't like it's growing conditions and is sulking, or if this is normal behaviour.

The stats:
  • Cultivar
  • Size: Medium
  • Summer Colour: green with brown tips
  • Rosette: Neat, with unusual tube like leaves.
  • Offsets: Few
  • Clump: Clumps slowly
  • Flower: Does not seem to flower (or has not in the 4 years I have grown them)
  • Winter hardiness: Good, no problems with being wet and cold.


  1. No doubt this is one of the most popular semps here in the U.S. I have several and when I take rooted offsets to our local C&S society meetings they are the first ones bought on the sales table. Slow growth is normal for these guys. Certainly an unusual sempervivum. Another very similar plant is 'Grigg's Surprise' which is similar to 'Oddity' but the cylindrical leaves are closed at the top end.

    1. Good to know it is not just me, growth speed wise. They are lovely plants, just a shame they are not a bit quicker. I have not seen 'Grigg's Surprise' in the UK, but then I haven't been especially looking. I will keep my eyes open.