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16 October 2014
Gardener's Corner

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Autumn 2007
John Cushnie On...

15 August 2006

The stonecrops are properly labelled sedum and there are hundreds of species and cultivars. Some are annuals but most are perennials or sub-shrubs.

Many are ideal in the rock garden or scree bed with smaller species fit for an alpine trough. Others make a bold edging to a path or along the front of a herbaceous border.

sedum_spectabile_brilliantSedum spectabile, the ice plant, is a deciduous perennial with grey-green leaves. The flat clusters of small, star-like flowers appear in late summer and are loved by bees. The variety ‘Brilliant’ has bright pink flowers. ‘Iceberg’ has white flowers.

Sedum telephium maximum ‘Atropurpureum’ is a lovely orpine. The stems and leaves are dark purple with pink-red flowers in late summer and autumn.

Sedum. spathulifoliumSedum spathulifolium is my favourite with tiny, spoon-shaped, rosettes of evergreen leaves. The star-shaped, bright yellow flowers appear in summer. Sedum ‘Purpureum has reddish-purple foliage and S. s. ‘Cape Blanco’ has small leaves powdered white.

With most gardeners Sedum acre is practically a weed. It is mat forming only growing to 5 cm (2 inches) high with pale green leaves and yellow flowers in summer. Sedum humifusum is similar in habit with yellow flowers in early summer and grows to less than 2 cm (1 inch) in height.

Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’ has pink-tinted, mid-green leaves with pale cream margins and yellow flowers that age to crimson during late summer.

Another variegated sedum is S. sieboldii ‘Mediovariegatum’ with glaucous-blue leaves, cream centres and occasionally red margins. The star-shaped, pink flowers appear in late summer.

They prefer a fertile, well drained, alkaline soil in full sun. Keep a close watch for vine weevil attacks where they devour the roots.

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