from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th 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.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Any of several succulent plants, of the genus Sempervivum, having a rosette of fleshy leaves
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. 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 ayegreen.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The common name of the plants of the genus Sempervivum, natural order Crassulaceæ.
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.