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The Aichryson Page

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Aichryson  Webb & Berthel 1840
(mice ears, 'Oreja de Ratón')

Aichryson is a genus of around 15 species of small tender succulent plants and sub-shrubs, of which 10 species are Canary Islands endemics and others are from the Azores, Madeira and Morocco. They are related to the Canary Islands genera Aeonium and Monanthes which also have polymerous (many-parted) yellow flowers. The succulent leaves are pubescent to densely hairy. The inflorescence is a loose raceme of dozens to hundreds of sulphur-yellow to greenish-yellow star-shaped flowers.
 
Aichryson grow as understory plants in the endemic laurel and pine forests of the Canary Islands and prefer to grow in slightly shaded moist soil with plenty of humus. They tolerate a cool, frost-free winter kept fairly dry. Some species are annuals or biennials, but the shrubby perennials also need to be re-started from cuttings on a regular basis to be at their best. Many species produce volunteer seedlings around themselves after flowering.

Aichryson aizoides 'variegatum'

Aichryson aizoides "variegatum" EC Nelson 1994
Syn. Aichryson domesticum "variegatum" Praeger 1927, Aeonium domesticum "variegatum" A. Berger 1930

This naturally-branching plant is probably a hybrid of garden origin. The rosettes of green leaves are edged with yellow with white ciliate margins. Some leaves have random yellow segments or form completely yellow rosettes indicaing a degree of genetic instability.
Seen on a display by Trewidden Nursery.

Aichryson laxum

Aichryson laxum  Bramwell 1968  Syn. Sempervivum laxum Haworth 1821
A biennial plant from the Canary Islands that is also naturalised in Portugal. All parts are pubescent. Leaves may become reddened in strong light. The inflorescence is a branched cluster of many star-shaped yellow flowers. Plants die after flowering unless the inflorescence is removed as the flowers die.
 
A larger variety, Aichryson laxum var. gomerense grows in the laurel forests of La Gomera.