They occur from Morocco to Iran, through the mountains of Iberia, the Alps, Carpathians, Balkan mountains, Turkey, the Armenian mountains, in the north-eastern part of the Sahara Desert, and the Caucasus. Their ability to store water in their thick leaves allows them to live on sunny rocks and stony places in the mountain, subalpine and alpine belts. Houseleeks grow as tufts of perennial but monocarpic rosettes. Each rosette propagates asexually by lateral rosettes (offsets, "hen and chicks"), by splitting of the rosette or sexually by tiny seeds. The colour of the flowers is reddish, yellowish, pinkish, or - seldom - whitish. In Sempervivum, the flowers are actinomorphic (like a star) and have more than six petals. After flowering, the plant dies, usually leaving many offsets it has produced during its life.
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