Sempervivum heuffelii (Syn. Jovibarba heuffelii)-Job’s Beard, Etc.

Sempervivum heuffelii after I brought it home on 6-1-14, #228-55.

Job’s Beard, Etc.

Sempervivum heuffelii

sem-per-VEE-vum  heff-EL-ee-eye


Jovibarba heuffelii

jo-vy-BARB-uh  heff-EL-ee-eye

Synonyms of Sempervivum heuffelii (16) (Updated on 2-22-21): Diopogon heuffelii (Schott) Jord. & Fourr., Diopogon heuffelii var. bulgaricus (Cheshm.) H.Jacobsen, Diopogon stramineus Jord. & Fourr., Diopogon velenovskyi (Cheshm.) H.Jacobsen, Jovibarba heuffelii (Schott) Á.Löve & D.Löve, Jovibarba heuffelii subsp. patens (Griseb. & Schenk) Holub, Jovibarba heuffelii var. patens (Griseb. & Schenk) P.J.Mitch., Jovibarba velenovskyi (Cheshm.) Holub, Sempervivum brassaii Schur, Sempervivum campaniforme Schur, Sempervivum ciliatum Schur, Sempervivum kopaonikense Pancic, Sempervivum patens Griseb. & Schenk, Sempervivum reginae-amaliae Heldr. & Sart. ex Baker, Sempervivum stramineum (Jord. & Fourr.) Baker, Sempervivum transsilvanicum Baker

The genus name, Jovibarba, stands for Jupiter’s Beard. The species name, heuffelii, was named in honor of Johann A. Heuffel who was a Hungarian physician and botanist.

Sempervivum heuffelii Schott is the correct and accepted scientific name for this species of Sempervivum. It was named and described as such by Heinrich Wilhelm Schott in Oesterreichisches Botanisches Wochenblatt (Vienna) in 1852.

Jovibarba heuffelii (Schott) Á.Löve & D.Löve is now considered a synonym of Sedum heuffelii. It was named and described as such by Áskell and Doris Benta Maria Löve in Botaniska Notiser in 1961. They are a husband and wife team and did extensive studies in chromosomesone numbers in plants and their use in plant systematics. I wouldn’t be surprised in polygenetic tesing may prove them correct…

The genus Jovibarba (DC.) Opiz was named and described by Philipp Maximilian Opiz in Seznam Rostlin Květeny České in 1852. The genus Opizia (a genus of grass) was named in his honor which later became a synonym of Bouteloua.

The basionym is from Augustin Pyramus de Candolle. He described Jovibarba as a section of Sempervivum in Prodromus Systematic Naturalis Regni Vegetabilis in 1828.

Sempervivum sect. Jovibarba DC. became a synonym of the genus Diopogon A.J.Jord & Fourr. That name was described by Claude Thomas Alexis Jordan and Jules Pierre Fourreau in Breviarium Plantarum Novarum in 1868. Although the abbreviation for Mr. Jordan used when naming this species was A.J.Jord., his official abbreviation was Jord. when citing a botanical name.

Of course the Diopogon genus became a synonym of Jovibarba which became a synonym of Sempervivum… Back where it all started.

The Wikipedia page for this species is still Jovibarba heuffelii because whoever made the page is using Flora of North America as a reference. Ummm… The first volume was published in 1993 and volume 28 in 2014. Two more volumes are expected. It is a collaboration of over 800 authors. All volumes are available to read online… Problem is, the page for Jovibarba heuffelii was published in volume 8 on page 170 which was published in 2009. Many names have changed… 

When I first did research on the Jovibarba species several years ago, I read several features that distinguished the two. The flowers, for example. Youngs Garden Shop has a couple of pretty good photos distinguishing the two.

Plants of the World Online by Kew lists 51 species in the Sempervivum genus (as of 2-22-21 when I last updated this page). it is a member of the plant family Crassulaceae with 26 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made (and likely will).


Sempervivum heuffelii on 6-29-14, #230-65.

While Jovibarba and Sempervivum species both reproduce by offsets and seeds, Jovibarba/Sempervivum heuffelii DOES NOT reproduce offsets on stolons like the other species. They produce offsets within the mother plant and need to be split with a knife to propagate…

The other species of Jovibarba are known as “rollers” whose offsets are lightly attached and easily fall off and roll away. 

There are (were) only three accepted species of Jovibarba, which are all now considered species of Sedum, even though they are completely unique… Hmmm… Wikipedia also has a page for Jovibarba globifera.

Sempervivum heuffelii on 7-12-14, #231-83.

I brought my Sempervivum heuffelii home from Lowe’s in 2014 and decided to place it in the old cast iron planter behind the old foundation. It did very wll all summer but did not survive the winter. Tag said “Jovibarba heuffelii Hybrid”… Even though it is considered a Sempervivum species, it seems somewhat weird not to call it a Jovibarba because of its uniqueness.

Family: Crassulaceae.
Origin: Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Yugoslavia.
Zones: USDA Zones 3a-9b ( to 25° F).
Size: 3-4” tall.
Light: Sun to part shade.
Soil: Very well-drained. If grown in a pot, use a good quality potting soil amended with additional pumice and chicken grit (2-1-1) or pumice (50/50).
Water: Average during the growing period, very little during the winter.  

Recommended cold hardiness zones for this species is all over the place. Dave’s Garden says 8a-11 (10 to 25° F). The Llifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) website ways they have escaped cultivation in northern Wisconsin and are considered a naturalized weed. Parts of northern Wisconsin are in zone 2b (down to -45)!

Sempervivum heuffelii is easy to grow as long as they are in well-drained soil or potting mix amended with extra grit and pumice or perlite. They do well in elevated beds and pots.

They like regular watering during the growing period but prefer their soil to dry slightly between watering. They should be watered very little during the winter.

Although they enjoy full sun, in hotter climates light shade is recommended as they are not that heat tolerant. 

If you haven’t tried Sempervivum heuffelii, I would highly reccomend you do. I always like different and unusual plants, something that sets them apart from the crowd. This plant definitely fits that cataeory and it is the only species of its kind mainly because of the way it multiplies. Next time I try Sempervivum heuffelii I will keep it in a pot and bring it inside for the winter…

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant.


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