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SEDUM


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medium green leaves, toothed on the upper third. Summer fl owers open yellow, age to red. Useful in colder climates as a rock garden plant or small- space groundcover (set plants 1 ft. apart). S. k. ellacombianum (S. ellacombianum) is a shorter plant (4–6 in. high) with more compact growth, unbranched stems, and brighter green leaves. S. k. fl oriferum (S. fl orif- erum) is a more profuse bloomer with smaller, paler fl ow- ers; its variety ‘Weihenstepha- ner Gold’ has golden blossoms that age to orange. S. k. kamt- schaticum ‘Variegatum’ has cream-edged leaves. S. lineare. Zones 1–24. Native to China, Japan. To 4 in. high. Trailing, rooting stems to 1 ft. long are closely set with narrow, inch-long light green leaves. Profuse yellow fl owers in late spring, early summer. For groundcover, set plants 1–11⁄2 ft. apart. ‘Sea Urchin’ has long, narrow, light green leaves; spreads to 3 ft. wide. ‘Variegatum’, with white-edged leaves, is often grown in pots. S. makinoi. Zones 5–9, 14–24. Native to Japan. Pros- trate or trailing, this has small, plump leaves and yellow fl ow- ers. ‘Ogon’ has rounded, golden leaves; ‘Limelight’ has lime green leaves. ‘Salsa Verde’ has deep green leaves. Thrives in shady, rocky soil. Regular water. S. ‘Matrona’. Zones 1–24.


To 2 ft. high and wide, with rose- edged, gray-green leaves that age to grayish brown (retaining the pink edge); large heads of pink fl owers appear on red stems. S. morganianum. DONKEY


TAIL, BURRO TAIL. Zones 17, 22– 24; H1, H2; with protection of lath or eaves in Zones 13–16, 18–21; or indoors. From Mexico. Produces long, trailing stems that reach 3–4 ft. in 6 to 8 years. Thick, 3⁄4-in.-long, light gray-green leaves overlap each other along stems to form braided-looking “tails” less than 1 in. thick. Pink to deep red fl owers may appear from spring to summer but are only rarely seen. Because of its long stems, this species is best grown in a hanging basket or wall pot; in mildest climates, try it spilling from top of a wall or in rock gar- den. Provide rich, fast-draining


soil. Protect from wind and give partial shade. Similar relatives include S. burrito (S. ‘Burro’), with fatter (1 in. thick) tails


composed of densely packed, 1⁄2-in. leaves; and giant donkey tail (sometimes sold as S. orpetii), with somewhat shorter, thicker tails. S. oxypetalum. Zones 16,


17, 21–24. Native to Mexico. To 3 ft. tall (usually much less) and 11⁄2 ft. wide. Even when tiny, the plant has the look of a gnarled tree. Narrow, 1–11⁄2-in.- long, olive green leaves; dull red, aromatic summer fl owers. Evergreen or semievergreen in mildest areas; deciduous else- where. Handsome container plant. S. praealtum. Zones 8, 9,


12, 14–24. Native to Mexico. Similar to S. dendroideum (and sometimes sold as S. d. prae- altum) but has a wider spread and is less treelike (to 5 ft. high and wide), with greener leaves and lighter yellow fl ow- ers. Blooms in spring and summer. S. × rubrotinctum. PORK AND BEANS. Zones 8, 9, 12, 14–24; H1, H2. Thought to be native to Mexico. Sometimes sold as S. guatemalense. Sprawl- ing, leaning, 6–8-in. stems are set with 3⁄4-in. leaves that look like jelly beans; they are green with reddish brown tips, often entirely bronze-red in sun. Detach easily and root readily. Yellow spring fl owers. Grow in rock garden, in pots, or as small-space groundcover (set plants 8–10 in. apart). Leaves of ‘Aurora’ are bright pink. S. rupestre (S. refl exum). Zones 2–24. Native to Europe.


Sedum comes from a Latin word meaning “to sit.” The plants were most likely so named because they perch on rocks, walls, or stumps. But many vigorous sedums (such as S. acre) spread so quickly, they might be suspected of walking.


Late Bloomers


For sturdy, long-lasting fl owers from late summer through fall, it’s hard to beat Sedum spectabile and its hybrids. The plants’ fl at-topped fl ower clusters in shades of pink, rose, and red are standouts as summer bloomers start to fade. Even when dormant in winter, the dried fl ower


heads add interest to the garden. Look for named forms such as ‘Autumn Joy’ (fl owers age to coppery red and then rust as weather cools), ‘Brilliant’ (dark rose-red fl owers’), ‘Carmen’ (soft pink to rose-colored blooms), and ‘Meteor’ (bright carmine-red). Combine these plants with other autumn performers such as Aster × frikartii with a fringe of Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’), and shrubby blue-green junipers behind. Or cluster them behind mounding Festuca glauca ‘Elijah Blue’ with purple smoke tree as the backdrop.


Spreading, creeping plant grows to 16 in. high, 1 ft. wide. Nar- row, light blue-gray leaves to 1 in. long, closely set on stems; yellow summer fl owers. Spreads freely; set plants 9–12 in. apart for groundcover. ‘Angelina’ is a golden-leafed form; ‘Blue Spruce’ has needlelike foliage reminiscent of blue spruce. S. sediforme (S. altissi-


mum). Zones 2–24. Mediterra- nean native. This spreading, creeping plant grows to 16 in. high, 1 ft. wide. Narrow, light blue-gray leaves to 11⁄2 in. long, closely set on stems. Small greenish white to light yellow fl owers in summer. Use in rock garden, for blue-green effect in pattern planting, or as small- space groundcover (set plants 1 ft. apart). S. sieboldii. Zones 2–9, 12, 14–24. Native to Japan. Low- growing plant just 4 in. high, 8–12 in. wide, with spreading, trailing, unbranched stems to 8–9 in. 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, fl at cluster of dusty pink fl owers in autumn. Leaves of ‘Variegatum’ have yellowish white markings. Species and variety are beautiful in rock gardens, hanging baskets. Light shade.


S. spathulifolium. PACIFIC


STONECROP. Zones 2–9, 14–24. Native from California’s Coast Ranges and Sierra Nevada north to British Columbia. Spoon-shaped, 1⁄2–1-in. blue- green leaves tinged with red- dish purple are packed into rosettes on short, trailing stems. Light yellow fl owers bloom in spring and summer. Use it as groundcover (set plants 1–11⁄2 ft. apart), in rock garden. Very drought-tolerant. ‘Cape Blanco’ is a selected form with good leaf color. S. spectabile. Zones 1–24.


Native to China and Korea. To 11⁄2 ft. high and wide, with upright or slightly spreading stems thickly clothed in blue- green, roundish, 3-in. leaves. Dense, 6-in.-wide, dome-shaped fl ower 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. Regu- lar to moderate water. Among many varieties, ‘Brilliant’ has deep rose-red fl owers; ‘Neon’ has bright pink fl owers. S. spurium. Zones 1–10, 14–24. Native to the Caucasus. Low-growing plant with trailing stems and dark green or bronze- tinted leaves just an inch or so long; spreads 2 ft. or wider. In summer, pink, purple, or white fl owers appear in dense clus- ters at ends of 4–5-in. stems.


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