Great Houseleek.

Botanical name: 

Sedum majus.

A plant sufficiently known as well by its particular manner of growing, as for its place of growth. It forms itself into clusters of a roundish figure, these are composed of leaves, which are largest toward the bottom, and smallest at the end; they are very thick and juicy, broad at the base, sharp at the point, flat on the upper side, a little rounded on the under, and somewhat hairy at their edges. The stalk grows to ten inches high; it is very thick, round, and juicy, upright, of a reddish colour, and divided at the top into a few branches. The leaves on it are thin and narrow. The flowers are numerous; they are red and have a green head in their middle, which afterwards becomes a cluster of seed-vessels.

The leaves are the part used; they are applied externally in inflammations, and are very useful, when cooling things may be employed. The juice is also cooling and astringent taken inwardly, but it is rarely used. Some praise it greatly for the inflammations of the eyes.

There is another kind of houseleek very unlike this in form, but of the same virtues, this is called the lesser houseleek; the stalks are round, small, and reddish, and grow six inches high; the leaves are long and rounded, not flat as the other leaves; and the flowers are white, and stand in a kind of tufts, like umbels at the tops of the stalks. This grows on old walls, and the tops of houses like the other.

The Family Herbal, 1812, was written by John Hill.