Sempervivum montanum is a small, hardy succulent with tight rosettes, up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter, crowded with fleshy, mid green leaves. It produces many offsetting rosettes that are held tightly crowded together.
Sempervivum montanum is native to mountainous areas of southern Europe from the Pyrenees east through the Alps to the Carpathian Mountains and south into Corsica. The name for the genus comes from the Latin words 'semper' meaning "always" and 'vivus' meaning "living" in reference to the long living nature of these plants. Specific epithet is from this plants habitat in mountainous regions. The common names Houseleek or Roof House Leek comes from the ancient practice of planting these plants on the thatched roofs of houses to prevent roof fires caused by lightning. The alternate common name of Hen and Chicks is because the older center plant in a clump is larger and surrounded by smaller plants.