Aeonium decorum (Green Pinwheel)

Scientific Name

Aeonium decorum Webb ex Bolle

Common Names

Green Pinwheel


Sempervivum decorum

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Sedoideae
Tribe: Sedeae
Subtribe: Sedinae
Genus: Aeonium


Aeonium decorum is a small succulent shrub with dark green to yellowish-green leaves arranged in rosettes on thick, ascending, or pendent branches. It grows up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall. Rosettes are up to 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. Leaves are often reddish variegated along margins, up to 2 inches (5 cm) long and 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) wide. In late spring or summer, inflorescences rise above the foliage, bearing small, star-shaped, whitish, often pinkish, or reddish flowers.

Photo by Wayne Fagerlund


USDA hardiness zone 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Aeoniums do not like hot or dry weather. They may go dormant in summer and do not require any water, except in arid conditions. In extreme heat, their leaves will curl to prevent excessive water loss. Growing them in moist shade will keep them growing, but their true growth season is winter to spring, when temperatures are cool (65 to 75 °F / 18 to 24 °C) and damp. In the winter, water whenever the soil has dried out. Test by poking your finger down into the soil an inch or two. Too much moisture or allowing them to sit in wet soil will cause root rot. See more at How to Grow and Care for Aeonium.

Propagate Aeoniums by stem cuttings, except for unbranched species that die after flowering and are propagated from seed. Take cuttings when the plant is actively growing, usually fall in USDA zones 9 through 11. Aeoniums go dormant in summer; cuttings taken while plants are dormant don't root. Each leaf rosette dies after it blooms. See more at How to Propagate Aeonium.


Native to the Canary Islands.

Varieties, Forms, and Cultivars

  • Aeonium decorum var. guarimarense
  • Aeonium decorum f. variegata
  • Aeonium decorum 'Cooperi'


  • Back to genus Aeonium
  • Succulentopedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus

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Aeonium Varieties

  • Aeonium arboreum: This widely available plant has bright green rosettes on a branching stem. It has a shrubby form and can grow as tall as 6 feet in the garden, or 3 feet in containers.
  • Aeonium arboreum 'Atropurpureum': This 3- to 5-foot tall cultivar has maroon leaves if grown in bright light.​
  • Aeonium arboreum 'Zwartkop': This cultivar has very dark, almost black leaves.​ It, too, is a fairly large plant.
  • Aeonium 'Garnet': A hybrid cross of A. 'Zwarkop' and A. tabuliforme, this variety's leaves are green toward the middle and tipped with dark red.
  • Aeonium davidbramwelli 'Sunburst': This variety is a shorter, 1- to 2-foot tall plant but has rosettes up to 1 foot across with pale yellow, white and green stripes, and pink tips.
  • Aeonium haworthii 'Tricolor' or 'Kiwi': An easy growing 2- to 3-foot plant, it has 4-inch flowers that have pale yellow centers when young, maturing to red and green.

How to Care for Aeonium

Related Articles

Of the more than 35 species of aeonium, those you're likely to find at the garden center include black rose (Aeonium arboreum "Atropurpureum") and copper pinwheel (Aeonium "Sunburst"). Grown for their distinctive leaf rosettes, aeoniums add interest to low-water gardens where few other plants will thrive. Aeoniums require minimal care once established in a sunny, fast-draining bed. Their care needs vary with the season and with their growing situation, with pot-grown specimens requiring extra help.

Plant Finder

A multi-branching succulent shrub, presenting a low, dense mound of thick, green leaves, occasionally tinged red on the margins pale pink flowers in summer has a beautiful symmetrical form, perfect for rock gardens, accenting, or containers

Green Pinwheel has clusters of shell pink star-shaped flowers rising above the foliage from late spring to mid summer. It has attractive green foliage edged in red throughout the season. The succulent oval compound leaves are highly ornamental but do not develop any appreciable fall color. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Green Pinwheel is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a mounded form. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and usually looks its best without pruning, although it will tolerate pruning. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Green Pinwheel is recommended for the following landscape applications

  • Mass Planting
  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Green Pinwheel will grow to be about 12 inches tall at maturity extending to 18 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 24 inches. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.

Green Pinwheel makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. It is often used as a 'filler' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, providing a mass of flowers and foliage against which the thriller plants stand out. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Watch the video: AEONIUM u0026 GREENOVIA out of DORMANCY

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