At the Habitats

Among the plants growing on the forest boundary, houseleeks are easily recognised by even the layman. They differ from other plants by their succulent leaves. Many mountaineers say, "it's a cactus", only to find that cacti are very different from these plants. Everyone does seem to agree that the plant is good for ears and was grown on the roofs.

We can find many houseleeks accidentally when climbing mountains. Strolling at the edge of Trnovski gozd and in the Julian Alps, we can find S. tectorum in rocky passes facing South. Here and there you can't walk without stepping on houseleeks.


Otlica, 850 m

One of the interesting habitat of J. globifera hirta is on Polhograjska Grmada. (Montagne de Louis 14eme) It also grows on neighbouring hills, even in shady forest. The plant survived at these locals from times when there were sunny rocky pastures there. This houseleek has many forms that depend on sunshine and season. It is hard to find flowering plants. One must climb on very crumbly rocks to see them.

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Polhograjska Grmada

Rocky houseleeks grow here and there in small groups at Koroska and Stajerska (near Crna na Koroskem, near Ljubno) on siliceous rocks, made of sandstone which is impossible to climb.

The most impressive habitat is on Donacka gora.

Donačka gora

Donacka gora

On the top of the mountain there are gigantic rocks, with precipices all around. When you climb to the topmost rock, with space for only one person, and look down (if you dare) towards the South side, you can see quite a few colonies of Juvan's houseleeks growing on solid rock. The habitat is only a few acres large, with smooth vertical rock. It is difficult to take pictures, even with a telephoto lenses. The species also grows on other South cliffs of crumbly sandstone, where climbing is impossible. One km away, at mount Resenik, almost the same habitat exists, but houseleeks are more rare.

How hard it is to make a photography show next words of  Prof. dr Tone Wraber from 'Sto znamenitih rastlin na Slovenskem' (100 Famous Plants in Slovenia), who made the first photography of Juvan's houseleek in nature:

'... Soon I have to use my hands if I want to go on. I feel warmth at my heart when through the crooked shrubs I catch sight the  of plant in flower. But I can't reach it because it grows on the edge of the precipice. I can't reach it from the top so I try from side. For the sake of appearance solid rock made of siliceous sandstone is unbelievable weather-beaten, I must try every stone and many of them fall down the precipice. I should take a rope, but now I must clasp the branch of ash tree with my right hand, with feet on crumbly rock, in left hand I have my camera. Swinging forward and backward I try to get the  cutting edge... There is no photography in the book that I made from more unsuitable and dangerous place... '

Later Peter Skoberne used the alpinistic equipment and made next photography:

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Juvan's houseleeks (it's orientated correctly )
Photo: Peter Skoberne


Some other data on Juvan's houseleek (in French)



(uncompleted distribution map)

(One click on the mark will open a photography from habitat.)

Photos are under the marks

Those are only location known to J.S.