Stonecrop

18 May

Stonecrop (Sedum), succulent looking perennial forming a thick carpet 2-4 inches thick, small flowers in spring, many colors, full sun to part shade, drought tolerant, deer resistant, attracts butterflies, good in rock gardens, cascades.

Native to many parts of the world. Some are quite hardy to cold, others fairly tender; some are tiny and trailing, others much larger and upright. Fleshy leaves are evergreen (unless otherwise noted) but highly variable in size, shape, and color. Typically small, star-shaped flowers, sometimes brightly colored, are usually borne in fairly large clusters.

Sedum album
Creeping plant grows to 2–6 in. high. Leaves to 1/2 in. long, light to medium green, sometimes red tinted.White or pinkish summer flowers. Plant 1– 1/2 ft. apart for ground cover. Roots from the smallest fragment; beware of planting it near choice, delicate rock garden plants.

Sedum morganianum

Sedum morganianum
Produces long, trailing stems that reach 3–4 ft. in 6 to 8 years. Thick, 3/4-in.-long, light gray-green leaves overlap each other along stems to form braided-looking “tails” less than 1 in. thick. Pink to deep red flowers may appear from spring to summer but are only rarely seen. Because of its long stems, this species is best grown in a hanging basket or wall pot; in mildest climates, try it spilling from top of a wall or in rock garden. Provide rich, fast-draining soil. Protect from wind and give partial shade.

Sedum sieboldii
Low-growing plant just 4 in. high, 8–12 in.wide, with spreading, trailing, unbranched stems to 8–9 in. long. Blue-gray leaves with red edges are carried in threes; they are nearly round, stalkless, toothed along upper half. Plant turns coppery red in fall, dies to ground in winter. Each stem bears a broad, dense, flat cluster of dusty pink flowers in autumn. Species and variety are beautiful in rock gardens, hanging baskets.

Sedum spathulifolium

Sedum spathulifolium
Spoonshaped, 1/2–1-in. blue-green leaves tinged with reddish purple are packed into rosettes on short, trailing stems. Light yellow flowers bloom in spring and summer. Use it as ground cover (set plants 1– 1/2 ft. apart), in rock garden. Very drought tolerant.

Sedum spectabile
To 1-1/2 ft. tall and wide, with upright or slightly spreading stems thickly clothed in blue-green, roundish, 3-in. leaves. Dense, 6-in.-wide, dome-shaped flower clusters appear atop stems in late summer and fall; they open pink, mature to dark brown seed heads that put on a long-lasting show. Dies to ground in winter. Full sun. Regular to moderate water.

Sedum spurium
Low-growing plant with trailing stems and dark green or bronze-tinted leaves just an inch or so long; spreads 2 ft. or wider. In summer, pink, purple, or white flowers appear in dense clusters at ends of 4–5-in. stems. For rock garden, pattern planting, ground cover.

Sedum telephium

Sedum telephium
To 2 ft. high, 1–2 ft. wide.  Resembles S. spectabilebut has gray-green, somewhat narrower leaves. Long-lasting floral display begins in late summer and fall; blossom clusters open purplish pink, age to brownish maroon. Plant dies to ground in winter.

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’
‘Autumn Joy’

Hybrid of S. telephium and S. spectabile. To 1–2 ft. tall, 2 ft. wide,with green leaves to 2–3 in. long and about as wide. Rounded clusters of blossoms are pink when they open in late summer or autumn, later age to coppery pink and finally to rust. Dies down in winter.

‘Vera Jameson’
Cross between S. telephium maximum‘Atropurpureum’ and S. ‘Ruby Glow’ (a low-growing hybrid with purple-gray leaves and ruby red flowers). To 8–12 in. high and about 1-1/2 ft. wide, with spreading purple stems clothed in pinkish purple leaves. Rose pink flowers in late summer, fall. Dies to ground in winter.

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