American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of various plants of the genus Sempervivum native to the Old World, especially S. tectorum, having a persistent basal rosette of fleshy leaves and a branching cluster of pinkish or purplish flowers. Also called live-forever, old-man-and-woman.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The common name of the plants of the genus Sempervivum, natural order Crassulaceæ. The common houseleek, S. tectorum, was originally found native in the great mountain-ranges of central and southern Europe to the Caucasus, whence it has spread widely over northern Europe and America, growing on the tops of houses and on walls. It is a succulent herb with very thick, bushy leaves and pink flowers, and is very tenacious of life. It contains malic acid combined with lime. The leaves are applied by the common people to bruises and old ulcers; and it was formerly believed that houseleeks growing on a housetop were a safeguard against lightning. In Scotland it is called
fouor fouet. In England it is sometimes called homewort.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Bot.) A succulent plant of the genus Sempervivum (Sempervivum tectorum), originally a native of subalpine Europe, but now found very generally on old walls and roofs. It is very tenacious of life under drought and heat; -- called also
- Probably from an Old English *hūslēac, corresponding to house + leek. Cognate with Dutch huislook, German Hauslauch, Danish husløg, Swedish huslök. (Wiktionary)
“Following our path of the night before, we walked up a ruined street which I could see was only one of scores in what had once been a very great city, until we came to the archway that I have mentioned, a large one now overgrown with plants that from their yellow, sweet-scented bloom I judged to be a species of wallflower, also with a kind of houseleek or saxifrage.”
“* Hen-and-chicks (houseleek) - Sempervivum tetorum - soothes minor stings and burns”
“Bertie smoked his pipe, and surveyed the houseleek as if it were a newly-discovered star.”
“I wonder if there's any houseleek on our roof?" he went on after a moment.”
“Percival would have been angry had he been called upon to feel the poetry which Bertie had found only a few days before in the bit of houseleek growing on that arid waste of tiles.”
“It is true that in that dim light the houseleek was only a dusky little knob.”
“On the other hand, in cases like those of the common houseleek, where we meet with petaloid organs combining the attributes of anthers and of carpels, we find the inner layers devoted to the production of pollen, the outer to the formation of ovules.”
“Mohl  remarks that, in the transformation of the stamens to the pistil in the common houseleek, the filament of the stamen generally preserves its form, the anthers alone undergoing change.”
“Fifth century drawing of houseleek (Sempervivum tectorum) from Anicia Juliana MS. of Dioscorides.”
“(_Cheiranthus Cheiri_) and the houseleek (_Sempervivum tectorum_) are the best known instances.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘houseleek’.
List of plant names (common or scientific) that go trippingly off the tongue, are fun to contemplate, expose the wit of the namer, or just plain befuddle.
tongueshape mudmi..., glandular maiden ..., jeweled maiden fern, stately maiden fern, hairy maiden fern, downy maiden fern, widespread maiden..., turkey tangle fog..., yankeeweed, clitoria fragrans, clitoria mariana, tall tumblemustard and 261 more...
Odd items, old or new, that might be employed in a way not originally intended. Like using a chopstick for pinning gathered tresses atop the head.
"House" words and phrases, literal and figurative. If another word comes before "house" in the phrase, it's listed on its own; if the phrase starts with "house," I've listed the part that comes aft...
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