Sedum, stonecrop

FAMILY: Crassulaceae | GENUS: SEDUM

TYPE
  • Perennials
  • Succulents
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Full Sun
  • Partial Shade
WATER
  • Drought Tolerant
  • Moderate Water
PLANTING ZONES
  • US (Upper South) / Zone 6
  • MS (Middle South) / Zone 7
  • LS (Lower South) / Zone 8

Plant Details

Mostly ground cover-scale succulents that grow nicely in the spaces between rocks (thus, stonecrop), sedums are 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.

Smaller sedums are useful in rock gardens, as ground or bank covers, in small areas where unusual texture is needed. Some are prized by collectors of succulents, who grow them in pots, dish gardens, or miniature gardens. Larger types are good in borders or containers. Most sedums are easy to propagate by stem cuttings; even detached leaves will root and form new plants. Soft and easily crushed, they will not take foot traffic, but they are otherwise tough, low-maintenance plants. Low-growing types often escape damage by browsing deer.

goldmoss sedum

sedum acre

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • Native to Europe, North Africa, Turkey.
  • To 25 inches high, with upright branchlets rising from trailing, rooting stems.
  • Light green leaves only 14 inches long; clustered yellow flowers in spring.
  • This old favorite is extremely hardy but can get out of bounds and become a weed.
  • Use as ground cover (set plants 1112 feet apart), between stepping stones, or in chinks of dry walls.

white sedum

sedum album

  • From Europe, Siberia, western Asia, North Africa.
  • Creeping plant to 26 inches high, with 12 inches-long, light to medium green, sometimes red-tinted leaves.
  • White or pinkish summer flowers.
  • Plant 1112 feet apart for ground cover.
  • This species will root from the smallest fragment, so beware of planting it near choice, delicate rock garden plants.
  • Coral Carpet has new growth that emerges salmon-orange, matures to bright green, and turns reddish-bronze in winter.
  • Pale pink flowers.

english stonecrop

sedum anglicum

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • From western Europe.
  • Low, spreading plant 24 inches high.
  • Dark green leaves are tiny, to just 18 inches long.
  • Pinkish or white flowers appear in spring.
  • For ground cover, set plants 912 inches apart.

sedum 'Autumn Joy

  • See Sedum Herbstfreude group.

sedum brevifolium

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • Native to the Mediterranean region.
  • Grows just 23 inches high, slowly spreading to 1 feet wide.
  • Gray-white, red-flushed leaves are tiny (less than 18 inches long), tightly packed on stems.
  • Pinkish or white summer flowers.
  • Needs acid soil and good drainage.
  • Best in rock gardens or with larger succulents in containers, miniature gardens.
  • Requires perfect drainage.
  • Sunburns in hot, dry places.

sedum cauticola

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • Native to Japan.
  • Slowly forms a mound 46 inches high, 1112 feet wide.
  • Blue-gray, slightly toothed, 1 inches leaves.
  • Clusters of rose-red flowers top stems in late summer or early fall.
  • Dies to ground in winter.

mexican stonecrop

sedum confusum

  • Zones MS, LS, CS; USDA 7-9.
  • Native to Mexico.
  • Spreading, branching plant grows 618 inches high and wide.
  • Shiny, dark green, 34- to 112 inches-long leaves tend to cluster in rosettes toward branch ends.
  • Dense clusters of yellow flowers in spring.
  • Makes a good ground cover but is sometimes plagued by dieback in wet soils, hot weather; it looks best during cooler weather.
  • Use in borders or containers, as edging.
  • A similar, smaller plant with light green leaves is the closely related Sedum kimnachii.

sedum dasyphyllum

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • Native to the Mediterranean region.
  • Forms a low (112- to 412 inches-high) mat that spreads to 1 feet or wider.
  • Gray-green, 18- to 14 inches leaves are densely packed on stems.
  • Blooms in summer, bearing white flowers with pink streaks.
  • Pink-blossomed 'Riffense' has silver-gray leaves that are especially plump and succulent.
  • Partial shade.

tree sedum

sedum dendroideum

  • Zones CS, TS; USDA 9-11.
  • Native to Mexico.
  • Branching plant to 3 feet tall and wide.
  • Rounded leaves to 2 inches long are yellow-green, often bronze tinted.
  • Deep yellow flowers in spring and summer.
  • For the plant sometimes sold as Sedum d.
  • praealtum, see Sedum praealtum.

sedum erythrostictum 'Frosty Morn

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • Resembles Sedum 'Autumn Joy', but the light blue-green leaves are boldly outlined in creamy white.
  • Blooms in late summer, bearing large clusters of flowers that are white in hot climates, pale pink in cooler ones.
  • Dies down in winter.
  • Excellent for rock gardens, edgings.

sedum forsterianum

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • From western Europe, British Isles.
  • To 8 inches high, 10 inches wide, with rounded rosettes of blue-green, needlelike leaves and yellow flowers.
  • Tolerates heat, humidity, and poor soils.
  • Oracle is a top selection.

sedum Herbstfreude group

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • Hybrids of Sedum telephium and Sedum spectabile.
  • To 12 feet tall, 2 feet wide, with green leaves to 23 inches long and about as wide.
  • Rounded clusters of blossoms are pink when they open in late summer or autumn, age later to coppery pink and finally to rust.
  • Good cut flowers.
  • All die down in winter.

Autumn Charm

  • ('Lajos').
  • White-edged leaves on 16 inches plants; light pink flowers.

Autumn Delight

  • ('Beka').
  • Golden green leaves with darker edges on 18- to 24 inches plants; dusty pink flowers.

Autumn Fire

  • Green leaves and dusty pink flowers on 18- to 24 inches plants.

Autumn Joy

  • ('Herbstfreude').
  • Green leaves.
  • Rounded clusters of blossoms are pink when they open in late summer or autumn, later age to coppery pink and finally to rust.

Elsie's Gold'. Golden green leaves with cream edges; shell-pink flowers.

Frosted Fire

  • Resembles 'Autumn Fire' but with leaves edged in creamy yellow.

Mini Joy

  • Similar to 'Autumn Joy' but a few inches shorter and with salmon-pink flowers.

sedum kamtschaticum

  • Native to Korea, Japan.
  • Variable species to 412 inches high, 2 feet wide, with trailing stems set with thick, somewhat triangular, 1- to 112 inches., medium green leaves, toothed on the upper third.
  • Summer flowers open yellow, age to red.
  • Useful in colder climates as a rock garden plant or small-space ground cover (set plants 1 feet apart).
  • Sweet and Sour has leaves that emerge nearly white, then age to green with a yellow edge.
  • Variegatum has cream-edged leaves.
  • Sedum k.
  • ellacombianum (sometimes sold as Sedum ellacombianum) is a shorter plant (46 inches high) with more compact growth, unbranched stems, and brighter green leaves.
  • Sedum k.
  • floriferum (sometimes sold as Sedum floriferum) is a more profuse bloomer with smaller flowers in a lighter yellow; its selection 'Weihenstephaner Gold' has abundant golden yellow blossoms that turn orange with age.

sedum lineare

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • Native to China, Japan.
  • To 4 inches high.
  • Trailing, rooting stems to 1 feet long are closely set with narrow, inch-long, light green leaves.
  • Loads of yellow flowers in late spring, early summer.
  • For ground cover, set plants 1112 feet apart.
  • Sea Urchin has long, narrow, light green leaves; spreads to 3 feet wide.
  • Variegatum, with white-edged leaves, is often grown in containers.

sedum makinoi

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • Native to Japan.
  • Prostrate or trailing plant with small, plump leaves and yellow flowers.
  • Ogon has rounded, golden leaves.
  • Limelight has lime-green leaves.
  • Salsa Verde has deep green leaves.
  • All thrive in shade in rocky soil with regular water.

sedum 'Matrona

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • To 2212 feet high and 1218 inches wide, with rose-edged, gray-green leaves that age to grayish brown (retaining the pink edge); large heads of pink flowers appear on red stems.

donkey tail, burro tail

sedum morganianum

  • Zone TS; USDA 10-11; or houseplant.
  • From Mexico.
  • Produces long, trailing stems that reach 34 feet in 6 to 8 years.
  • Thick, 34 inches-long, light gray-green leaves overlap each other along stems to form braided-looking tails less than 1 inches thick.
  • Pink to deep red flowers may appear from spring to summer but are only rarely seen.
  • Similar relatives include Sedum burrito (S.
  • Burro), with fatter (1 inches-thick) tails composed of densely packed, 12 inches leaves; and giant donkey tail (sometimes sold as Sedum orpetii), with somewhat shorter, thicker tails.

Because of their long stems, all of these are best grown in a hanging basket or wall pot; or try them spilling from the top of a wall or in a rock garden. Provide rich, fast-draining soil (such as a half-and-half mixture of sand and potting soil). Protect from wind and give partial shade. Indoors, site in a south-facing window. Allow soil to become quite dry between thorough waterings, and feed in spring and summer with a general- purpose liquid houseplant fertilizer diluted to half-strength. Reduce watering and cease feeding in winter.

sedum oxypetalum

  • Zones CS, TS; USDA 9-11.
  • Native to Mexico.
  • To 3 feet tall (usually much less) and 112 feet wide.
  • Even when tiny, the plant has the look of a gnarled tree.
  • Narrow, 1- to 112 inches-long, olive-green leaves; dull red, aromatic summer flowers.
  • Evergreen or semievergreen in mildest areas; deciduous elsewhere.
  • Handsome container plant.

sedum praealtum

  • Zones MS, LS, CS, TS; USDA 7-11.
  • Native to Mexico.
  • Similar to Sedum dendroideum (and sometimes sold as Sedum d.
  • praealtum) but has a wider spread and is less treelike (to 5 feet high and wide), with greener leaves and lighter yellow flowers.
  • Blooms in spring and summer.

pork and beans

sedum x rubrotinctum

  • Zones CS, TS; USDA 9-11.
  • Thought to be native to Mexico.
  • Sometimes sold as Sedum guatemalense.
  • Sprawling, leaning, 6- to 8 inches stems are set with 34 inches leaves that look like jelly beans; they are green with reddish brown tips, often entirely bronze-red in sun.
  • Leaves detach easily and root readily.
  • Yellow spring flowers.
  • Grow in rock garden, in pots, or as a small-space ground cover (set plants 810 inches apart).
  • Leaves of 'Aurora' are bright pink.

sedum rupestre(Sedum reflexum)

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • Native to Europe.
  • Spreading, creeping plant to 4 inches high, 12 feet wide.
  • Narrow, light blue-gray leaves to 1 inches long are closely set on stems; yellow summer flowers.
  • Spreads freely; plant 912 inches apart for ground cover.
  • Angelina is an excellent golden-leaved form.
  • Blue Spruce has needlelike foliage.

sedum sediforme(Sedum altissimum)

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS, TS; USDA 6-11.
  • Mediterranean native.
  • This spreading, creeping plant grows 46 inches high, 812 inches wide.
  • Narrow, light blue-gray leaves to 112 inches long are closely set on stems.
  • Small greenish white to light yellow flowers in summer.
  • Use in rock garden, for blue-green effect in pattern planting, or as small-space ground cover (set plants 1 feet apart).

sedum sieboldii

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS: USDA 6-9.
  • Native to Japan.
  • Low-growing plant just 4 inches high, 812 inches wide, with spreading, trailing, unbranched stems to 89 inches 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.
  • Leaves of 'Variegatum' have yellowish white markings.
  • Species and selection are beautiful in rock gardens, hanging baskets.
  • Light shade.

sedum spathulifolium

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • Native from California's Coast Ranges and Sierra Nevada north to British Columbia.
  • Spoon-shaped, 12- to 1 inches., blue-green leaves tinged with reddish purple are packed into rosettes on short, trailing stems; mounds reach 4 inches high.
  • Light yellow flowers bloom in spring and summer.
  • Use as ground cover (set plants 1112 feet apart), in rock garden.
  • Very drought tolerant.
  • Cape Blanco is a selected form with silvery white leaves.
  • Purpureum has deep purple foliage.

showy sedum

sedum spectabile

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • Native to China, Korea.
  • Long a favorite in Southern gardens.
  • To 112 feet tall and wide, with upright or slightly spreading stems thickly clothed in blue-green, roundish, 3 inches leaves.
  • Dense, 6 inches-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.
  • Moderate to regular water.
  • Brilliant has deep rose-red blossoms; its sport 'Neon' has bubble-gum-pink flowers in thicker, more rounded clusters.
  • Other selections include 'Carmen', soft rose; 'Indian Chief', coppery red; 'Meteor', carmine-red; and 'Ruby Jewel', deep maroon.

Class Act', a hybrid between 'Brilliant' and Sedum telephium, reaches 212 feet tall and wide, with thick green leaves and pink flowers that age to dark purplish red. 'Mr Goodbud', another hybrid with the same parents, grows just 16 inches tall and 20 inches wide, with deep blue-green leaves and purple-pink flowers; its short stature and strong stems make it less likely to flop over. 'Birthday Party', a hybrid between 'Neon' and Sedum telephium, is compact at just 7 inches tall, 20 inches wide, with leaves tinted purplish brown; its large flower heads bear deep rose-pink blooms. Those same parents also produced the vigorous 'Chocolate Drop', about 8 inches tall and 14 inches wide, with red-brown leaves and dusky rose-pink blooms.

two-row sedum

sedum spurium

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • From the Caucasus.
  • Low-growing plant with trailing stems and dark green or bronze-tinted leaves just an inch or so long; spreads to 2 feet or wider.
  • In summer, pink flowers appear in dense clusters at ends of 4- to 5 inches stems.
  • For rock garden, pattern planting, ground cover.
  • Dragons Blood' ('Schorbuser Blut') bears purplish bronze leaves, dark red blooms.
  • Red-leafed selections include 'Red Carpet' (with red blossoms) and 'Fuldaglut' (with rosy pink flowers).
  • John Creech has small, scalloped green leaves and pink blossoms.
  • Leaves of 'Tricolor' are variegated in green, creamy white, and pink; flowers are pink.
  • Voodoo has reddish leaves and red flowers.

live-forever sedum

sedum telephium

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • Native from Europe eastward to Japan.
  • Old favorite.
  • To 2 feet high, 12 feet wide.
  • Resembles S.spectabile but 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.
  • Plant in full sun (stems tend to flop in shaded sites).
  • Moderate to regular water.

Desert series

  • Compact and vigorous.
  • Desert Black (very dark purple leaves, rose-pink flowers) and 'Desert Blonde' (blue-green leaves, creamy yellow flowers) reach about 8 inches tall and 11 inches wide.
  • Desert Red (blue-green leaves, deep pink flowers) is just 6 inches high, 11.
  • inches wide.

Mhrchen'. Grows 2 feet high, 112 feet wide, with purple new growth and rosy pink flowers.

Picolette

  • To 15 inches high and wide; bronze-red foliage, pink flowers.

Postman's Pride'. To 2 feet high and wide, with small, deep purple leaves and pinkish red flowers that mature to burgundy.

Purple Emperor

  • Grows 18 inches high and wide, with dark purple foliage and dusty pink blooms.

Red Cauli

  • To 15 inches high and wide.
  • Purple-tinted, gray-green leaves; red flowers.

Strawberries and Cream

  • To 1 feet high, 112 feet wide.
  • Purple-tinted green leaves; green-centered white flowers.

Xenox

  • Grows 14 inches high and 18 inches wide, with mauve-green foliage that matures to burgundy-purple.
  • Pink flowers.

Yellow Xenox

  • Grows 16 inches high, 20 inches wide, with dark foliage and yellow flowers.

mountain sedum

sedum ternatum

  • Native to moist, open woodlands in eastern U.S. Spreads by creeping stems to form large, low (3- to 6 inches-tall) mats of pretty foliage.
  • The small, roundish, 12- to 1 inches-long leaves grow in whorls of three; they are pale green when new, aging to dark green.
  • Blooms profusely in late spring and early summer, when 12 inches white flowers with purple-red stamens open along the stems.
  • Thrives in moist soil with plenty of organic matter.
  • Partial to full shade.
  • Larinem Park is compact and choice.

chinese sedum

sedum tetractinum

  • Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8.
  • From China.
  • Cascading stems, loaded with flat, nearly round leaves 1234 inches across, form a clump 23 inches tall and 12 feet wide.
  • Leaves are bright glossy green, often with reddish margins; turn a rich reddish bronze in fall.
  • In early summer, clusters of bright yellow flowers just above the foliage.
  • Coral Reef has rounded, rich green leaves that turn reddish bronze in winter.

sedum 'Vera Jameson

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • This popular hybrid grows 812 inches high and 112 feet wide, with spreading purple stems clothed in pinkish purple leaves.
  • Rose-pink flowers in late summer and fall.
  • Dies to ground in winter.

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