The stonecrops are properly labelled sedum and
there are hundreds of species and cultivars.
Some are annuals but most are perennials or
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.
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
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)
kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’ has pink-tinted,
mid-green leaves with pale cream margins and
yellow flowers that age to crimson during late
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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