In a quest to produce hardier succulents for the UK climate, we have raised a new hybrid between Sempervivum ‘Green ice’ (raised by Howard Wills and registered 2006, of unknown parentage) and Aeonium ‘Ice Warrior’ (Aeonium smithii × Aeonium ‘Cyclops’) Surreal Succulents cultivar. Using these two plants as the parents should potentially produce a hardier, more robust and beautiful succulent as sempervivums are known to be particularly hardy.
The parents are both members of the Crassulaceae family. However, their flowering seasons are very far apart, with aeoniums generally flowering in the spring, and sempervivums flowering from summer to autumn. That was the real challenge in creating this hybrid, not to mention the fact that Aeonium flower very sporadically, so it was incredibly unpredictable. We were lucky enough to have one of our Aeoniums start to flower in late summer so we were able to use fresh pollen from it to cross it with the flowering Sempervivum ‘Green Ice’, which in due course produced seed.
We were amazed when we had successfully germinated the seeds, and we were astonished once we began to see the first batch of seedlings growing in the seed tray.
Parentage: Aeonium ‘Ice Warrior’ (m) × Sempervivum ‘Green Ice’ (f). Etymology: ×Semponium ‘Sienna’ is named after Mark’s first-ever child and daughter who is now 1 year old. This brand new hybrid ×Semponium ‘Sienna’ is a prolific grower with a large central rosette that produces multiple offsets. The leaves are slender with the outer part of the foliage becoming more spoon-shaped. The colouring is the most exciting part of the plant with its unusual sienna colour, and its bright red leaf margins. These plants are now undergoing hardiness testing to see if they are as hardy as their Sempervivum parent. The eventual size is 30cm high and 30cm across.
We were due to release this plant for the first time at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2020. We had also entered it into the Chelsea Plant of the Year competition at this show.
It will be on sale here on the website for the first time this summer and will be available to purchase at the 2021 Chelsea flower show, we hope to see you there.