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Live Forever

Live Forever

Friends - This painting is my final salute to the color green, as I am going to switch to other subjects pretty soon.  That being the case, I do think this plant is worthy of a tribute and here is why:

Not only is this succulent healthy and handsome, but it has some unique characteristics as well.  Modest research leads me to believe that it is a 'Sempervivum', -- one of about 40 different flowering species commonly known as houseleeks.  Two other common-use names are 'Hen and Chicks' and 'Live Forever'.  I prefer the latter because it makes the most sense to me, given what this plant's talent for survival.

By that I mean, Sempervivum has both sexual and asexual means of self-propagation, helping ensure its survival.  Each rosette propagates asexually by growing offsets (hence the name "hen and chicks"), or it can resort to sexual reproduction through its tiny seeds.

In addition to reproductive talents, this succulent is built to endure hardship.  It knows how to reduce water loss and withstand long periods of drought by storing large amounts of water and food in leaves, stems, or roots.  This juice can later be released when needed.   For our purposes, it has also been used in herbal medicine as treatment for skin and eye diseases, to ease inflammation and to treat nervous disorders, intestinal problems and abdominal pain.  Wow!

This particular robust 'hen' is one that I saw on the California coast last spring with my daughter, Xochitl.  Not flowering yet, it was getting ready to do so with the beginning projectile that you can see forming. 

This 12"x14" soft pastel on water color paper can be yours as a thank you for a donation to a worthwhile non-profit organization..

Be well.

margie lopez read