SEDUM Stonecrop

At any large garden centre you will probably be offered a number of different Sedums. The family characteristics are low-growing fleshy leaves with starry flowers in early summer, usually yellow and borne either singly or in flat heads. Look up the properties of the variety you intend to buy or you can well be disappointed – the Ice Plants (S. spectabile and S. For a small and choice rockery you should avoid the Common Stone-crop (S. acre) – a rampant grower which can easily become a weed. Avoiding the pitfalls, you can pick from a wide selection of carpeters which will thrive in cracks and crevices and give that essential alpine touch to the site.

VARIETIES: Too aggressive for most rockeries, S. acre is still a useful plant for clothing large areas of walls or dry banks. The basic details are height 2 in., spread over 2 ft.

Flowering period: June-July. Another wide-spreading ‘weed’ is S. album which fortunately has a well-behaved and non-invasive variety – ‘Coral Carpet’ (spread 9 in., grey mounds of foliage bearing yellow flowers). S. dasyphyllum (height Vfc in., spread 1 ft. blue-green leaves,

Flowering period: June, white flowers) is a useful carpeter, but is not as popular as the old favourite S. spathuli-folium – height 3 in., spread 1 ft.

Flowering period: June-July. The wide mat is made up of silvery rosettes and the yellow flowers are borne in flat heads. The variety ‘Purpureum’ has large purple leaves; the foliage of ‘Cappa Blanca’ is white. The flowers of S. spurium (height 3 in., spread 1 ft) are white, pink or red – a change from the usual yellow. Grow the red-flowered variety ‘Schorbusser Blut’. As a change from the more popular types you can try the semi-trailing S. ewersii which bears pink flowers in June.

SITE AND SOIL: Requires well-drained soil – thrives best in full sun. PROPAGATION: Very easy – divide clumps in autumn or spring.

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