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AEONIUM arboreum 'Zwartkop'

Image of Aeonium arboreum 'Zwartkop' ('Schwarzkopf')

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Crassulaceae

Botanical Name

AEONIUM arboreum 'Zwartkop' ('Schwarzkopf')

Plant Common Name

Tree Aeonium, Zwartkop Aeonium

General Description

A wonderful plant for color and textural interest, Zwartkop tree aeonium is a heat- and drought-tolerant succulent that originates from Morocco. The words "zwartkop" or "schwarzkopf" mean "black rose or head," referring to the dark leaf clusters. Its branched stems are upright, each bearing a tight rosette of spoon-shaped near-black leaves. A leaf is rich in very dark red pigments, making it look black from a distance. In the spring, each mature rosette develops an upright stalk that reaches above the foliage. The stalk is topped with a dense cluster of bright yellow flowers. The blossoms are fragrant and numerous, each with many thin petals. The flower clusters and stalks make the plant look like it's carrying torches or drumsticks. The yellow flowers are exceptionally showy juxtaposing the dark foliage rosettes.

Appropriate for nearly full sun to partial shade and highly drought tolerant, 'Zwartkop' requires perfectly drained, average to gritty garden soil. Keep the soil dry most of the year, including the hottest times of summer when the plant becomes semi-dormant. In frost-free climates, growth occurs in the milder weather from fall to late spring. Where hardy, it is commonly grown as an outdoor rock garden perennial, but it also makes a striking houseplant for a sunny window. Overly dry soil coupled with hot, intense, all-day sun can scald or stunt plants in arid climates. Protect from high humidity, too much rain or irrigation, and subfreezing temperatures to avoid leaf or stem dieback.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 4

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Cactus or Succulent

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    3'-4' / 0.9m - 1.2m

  • Width

    3'-4' / 0.9m - 1.2m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring, Late Spring

  • Native To

    Morocco

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Lemon Yellow

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Red, Black

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Red, Black

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Red, Black

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Red, Black

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Foundation, Houseplant, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No