60914They sure took their time getting this far along. The bluish green succulent foliage of showy stonecrop, Hylotelephium spectabile, (formerly Sedum spectabile) first appeared at ground level in early spring, and has been growing into rounded mounds so slowly that it now stands less than three feet high and wide. Smaller types are half as big. Blooms are only now beginning to turn color.

Broad and flat-topped floral trusses of minute flowers are almost always some sort of pink. Sometimes, they are almost terracotta red. Sometimes, they are somewhat peachy. They might even be blushed with a bit of lavender. ‘Stardust’ blooms white. The biggest blooms can be as wide as five inches. If not pruned away as they fade, the blooms (according to some) dry nicely by winter.

New growth starts to appear from the ground almost as soon as old stems die in late winter. Established clumps can be divided in spring every few years. Even small plants can spare a few small pups that will grow into new plants. Stems might get taller in partial shade, but might also need to be staked as they bloom. Bees really flock to the flowers because not much else blooms so late.

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13 thoughts on “Showy Stonecrop

    1. What!? Does that apply to stonecrop?! I do not know what it is, but I have heard the ‘chopping’ of flowering peach trees just after bloom compared to it. Once a flowering peach tree develops a healthy trunk and branch structure, the blooming shoots get chopped after bloom, and perhaps again half way through summer, in order to get fluffy growth that bloom VERY fluffy the following season, only to get chopped again to repeat the process. Bloom is exquisite, but I would prefer to get someone else to do it. It sounds too harsh for me, . . . and I still believe in pollarding and coppicing!

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  1. Most of ours must be the “Stardust” variety, though I do have a few plants that have a pink hue to them. They do very well in my front flower beds. I too only knew these as Sedum, and am glad to know the “Showy Stonecrop” name.

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