Also called old-man-and-old-woman. a succulent plant, Sempervivum tectorum, of the stonecrop family, native to Europe, having reddish flowers and leaves forming dense basal rosettes.
any other plant of the genus Sempervivum.

Origin of houseleek

First recorded in 1325–75, houseleek is from the Middle English word howsleke. See house, leek Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for houseleek

Historical Examples of houseleek

  • But the woodwork that encased the panes was decayed, and houseleek covered the tiles.

    Lucretia, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • The houseleek and bay tree were supposed to afford protection from lightning.

  • It is the Houseleek, of which a clump is growing between the tiles.

    Wildflowers of the Farm

    Arthur Owens Cooke

  • Mabel had planted her one houseleek, and it was with faithful exertion she kept it from covering her whole nature.

    Mabel's Mistake

    Ann S. Stephens

  • Beat a quantity of Houseleek in a marble mortar, squeeze out the Juice and clarify it.

    The Toilet of Flora

    Pierre-Joseph Buc'hoz

British Dictionary definitions for houseleek



any Old World crassulaceous plant of the genus Sempervivum, esp S. tectorum, which has a rosette of succulent leaves and pinkish flowers: grows on wallsAlso called: hen-and-chickens
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012