Aeonium canariense var. virgineum is a medium-sized Aeonium from Gran Canaria with cup-shaped rosettes to 30cm across. It has large individual leaves that are covered in tiny glandular hairs which together with the reddish tinge that develops with exposure to the sun gives rise to the common name: Giant Velvet Rose, which is actually a rather good description. It is generally stemless or with a short stem that produces many branching offsets, often forming a large low clumping bush. It is distinguished from the type species Aeonium canariense (which is from Tenerife) by its slightly smaller size, its greater branching habit, and by this reddish colouration to its leaves.
Aeonium canariense var. virgineum gets its varietal name from the Barranco de La Virgen, the lush forested ravine in the north of Gran Canaria that is home to relict fragments of the laurel forest known as Selva de Doramas that once covered the area and where it was first identified. It grows on steep, often vertical, rock faces, thriving on the combination of warm moist air and perfect drainage.
Like all Aeoniums, Aeonium canariense var. virgineum needs a very free-draining substrate. A terracotta pot is ideal. It does best in full sun or partial sun and can be kept outdoors during the summer months and be brought back inside for the winter.
|Synonyms||Aeonium canariense subsp. virgineum, Aeonium virgineum, Sempervivum canariense subsp. virgineum|
|Geographical Origin||Canary Islands: Gran Canaria|
|Cultivation||Warm aspect, sun or partial shade. Well-drained gritty growing medium. Bring indoors for winter. Protect from slugs and snails. Do not overwater! Ideal houseplant|
|Hardiness||Tender in the UK. Bring indoors in winter. Ideal in a well-lit room or conservatory. Outdoors in the summer|
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