Sempervivum arachnoideum, sometimes known as cobweb houseleek, is a species of flowering plant in the family Crassulaceae, native to the Alps, Apennines and Carpathians. Growing to 8 cm (3 in) tall by 30 cm (12 in) wide, it is a rosette-forming succulent perennial, valued in cultivation for its ability to colonise hot, dry areas via offsets. Its name arachnoideum refers to its furry central rosettes, resembling spider webs. It flowers in July, with pink flowers that are raised on stems and hermaphrodite (having both male and female organs).
Among the easiest plants to grow, Hen-and-chicks tolerate heat, drought and neglect with style. Useful in rock gardens, container garden of all types, rooftop gardens and rock walls. Hundreds of varieties exist. All types form a low cushion or carpet of fleshy leaves, tiny new plants appearing in a circle around the mother in the middle. This selection has small rosettes of purplish leaves, heavily covered by a fine silver webbing. Short spikes of pastel flowers appear in summer. Easily increased by just removing the small baby rosettes and replanting in a new location at almost any time. After flowering, the mother rosette dies to leave room for the chicks: remove this by tugging gently at the base of the bloom stem.