On sunny cliffs and in stony mountains the houseleek feels particularly at home. It belongs to the stonecrop species and is native to the European mountains in particular. Houseleeks grow on rocky ledges (rosette plants) over many years. The plant stores water in its thick, hairy leaves.
The common houseleek, as the houseleek is also known, has been recognised as a healing plant with magical properties for many years. The leaves contain tannin and mucilage as well as malic acid and coumarin. The juice from the leaves relieves external complaints in particular such as dry, chapped skin, burns, warts and insect bites.
On many roofs and archways houseleek has been growing for centuries and is said to protect the building from a lightening strike. Charlemagne ordered that houseleek should be planted on every roof in his Country Estate Decree. According to folklore the effect of preventing a strike by lightening was increased if a houseleek rosette was burnt on the hearth when a storm was approaching.
Hard to believe: The houseleek flower on the roof was even considered an oracle in the past. If it was reddish, the inhabitants of the house could expect happy events, whilst white flowers indicated that a family member would soon die.