Common Names: Sedastrum, Sedum, Stonecrops
There are an impressive 300 more different species of these succulent plants, which are also called Stonecrop as they are often found in the wild growing on rocky ledges. They are native to the Northern Hemisphere.
Mostly is a perennial plant with thick, succulent leaves, fleshy stems, and clusters of star-shaped flowers.
So many varieties of this plants makes them suitable for almost all types of garden designs. Use low–growing ones varieties as ground covers and in rock gardens, and taller varieties for back borders.
Sedum are hardy, easy to care for, and make great cut flowers, too. Sedum ground covers includes Sedum acre, which grows to 8 cm tall and opens bright golden-yellow flowers in spring. This plant roots where you drop a leaf and can quickly fill in a stony slope or difficult corner of your garden. Sedum spurium ‘Dragon’s Blood’ opens rich pink blooms above bronze leaves that turn burgundy in autumn.
Other sedum varieties grow up to 50 cm. One of the most popular stonecrop sedum is ‘Autumn Joy’ (Sedum SpectabileAutumn Joy in the pics). This perennial favorite grows 40 to 60 cm tall and It’s a strong addition to any perennial planting. These plants boast low-maintenance personalities. Most are a plant-it-and-forget-it type of perennial. The only recipe for disaster with these plants is poor drainage. Make sure soil drains well for best growth.
IS SEDUM EDIBLE?
Leaves and flowers of the majorities of Sedums are edible, are added to soups recipe, smoothies and green salads for its slightly astringent sour taste (especially S.Sarmentosum, S. Reflexum, S.Rhodanthum). Biting stonecrop, also called Sedum acre, have major toxicological effects due to the amount of alkaloids present that make this species NOT EDIBLE.
MEDICINAL PROPERTIES AND USES
The fresh, crushed leaves or plant extract are usually used externally in traditional herbal medicine. These plants are regarded to have diuretic and laxative properties. Finally, the most common uses are associated with skin conditions, as for itchy rashes, ulcers and for the topical treatment of warts, pimples and acne dermatitis.
You should check several sources and photos before trying something you have never eaten or applied on your skin before, just to make sure you get the right plant. Some people may have allergies they are not aware of, especially if they approach to plants for their first time. Obviously is wise and strongly advised to always have a careful approach and try small amount at first.