Herb: Cobweb Houseleek

Latin name: Sempervivum arachnoideum

Family: Crassulaceae (Stonecrop Family)

Medicinal use of Cobweb Houseleek:

The leaves are emollient, haemostatic, ophthalmic and sedative. The crushed plant, or its juice, is applied externally to boils, wounds etc and is also used to stop nose bleeds. The slightly warmed juice has been used to relieve ear inflammations and toothaches can be relieved by chewing on the leaves. When macerated and infused in vinegar, the plant can be used to get rid of warts and corns. The leaves are harvested in the summer and are best used when fresh since they are difficult to dry properly. The leaf pulp is used to make a cooling face mask for reddened or sunburnt skin.

Description of the plant:


10 cm
(4 inches)


Habitat of the herb:

Amongst rocks and stones in the cooler regions of Europe, usually on siliceous soils.

Propagation of Cobweb Houseleek:

Seed - surface sow in early spring in a cold frame. It usually germinates in 2 - 6 weeks at 10C. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer if they have made sufficient growth, otherwise grow them on for a further year in pots before planting them out. Division of offsets in spring or early summer. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer. Plants can also be divided in September but these divisions should be overwintered in a greenhouse. Stem cuttings.

Cultivation of the herb:

Amongst rocks and stones in the cooler regions of Europe, usually on siliceous soils.

Known hazards of Sempervivum arachnoideum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.