What do you know about sedum?

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  • #14961


    I have been thinking about sedum, a plant I never used to like very much (after all it is a succulent – and I used to grow cacti and succulents about 50 years ago, and so I feel they’re "old hat" and I much prefer cottage gardens now).

    However, Mary in Tauranga showed me how great sedum is as a butterfly attractant.

    Then recently in a TV documentary I saw a green roof which had been planted up with sedum – these were tiny plants with bronze foliage. They described the sedum as being great because they held water, releasing it in times of drought.

    I now have a healthy respect for sedums as they have at least TWO purposes. I would like to know more about them. Who can tell me more about sedum?

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    Sedums come in very many shapes and forms, some known as stonecrops because many have a distinctive stoney look.

    Some have been recently reclassified are now a separate genus Hylotelephium such as Sedum spectabile, but most people will know them as Sedum for a long time yet.

    I like them because they usually flower later in the season towards late summer autumn when other things are finished and they provide some very vivid colours and contrasts for late season interest.

    Recommended are S. spectabile for its lovely flat heads of cerise pink flowers which contrast with its mat grey/green foliage. Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ which is very similar to spectabile, but has darker flowers fading to rusty red colours. S. mexicanianum has much smaller dainty leaves which in themselves provide a bold splash of very bright lime/chartreuse green foliage with flowers in bright yellow. S. purple emperor has purple leaves and pink to red flowers , and S. kamtschaticum which has a more squat stature for front of the border.

    All are very high in nectar and are suitable for arid dry gardens with low water supply, hence their use as a roof plant in some places. They all have a strong structural look for foliage interest.

    One which is fascinating is Sedum morganianum which is usually grown in a basket due to it’s pendulous habit and looks when mature like a crop of blue/gray dreadlocks! VERY structural!



    Sedum is a great nectar flower for all butterflies and moths.
    Go to the search panel at the top right and enter ‘monarchs on sedum’. Follow this through and a photo of multiple monarchs feeding on sedum flowers is there.



    this is coming off the top of my head Jacqui,so may be of little use!sedum spectabile is a very useful nectar plant.It flowers late in the season and is an excellent nectar plant for butterflies.I have used another much smaller one(sedum acre[I think!}) as a larval foodplant of the appollo butterfly many years ago.

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