Sedum

Stonecrop

Tough yet delightful, beloved by butterflies and bees, these succulent perennials flourish even in lean and mean soils. The blooms assert a decidedly horizontal element to the garden as long lasting, flat umbels of starry flowers emerge from buds in broccolilike clusters. Supported by stout, sturdy stems, the blooms mature through a range of colors, extending the visual delight well into winter.

Asking only for good drainage along with an occasional sip of water, Sedums are durable, reliable and almost maintenance-free.

Thanks to Norseco Nursery in Quebec for this newly improved form of the commonly planted ‘Autumn Joy’. Strong, stout stems lined with dentate, gray-green, fleshy leaves support the more substantial, longer lasting blooms. Bold clusters of closely packed, rosy pink flowers age to a salmon bronze, later casting coppery red shades upon the autumn landscape.

Blooms August–October.

Size: 2' 0" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Celebrated for a stout stature and tightset domed blooms, this English cultivar’s large radiant rosy pink heads galvanize butterflies, bees and plant enthusiasts with late season color and nectar galore. A sturdy swell of thick compact magenta-suffused stalks plus fleshy greenish-gray leaves anchors the long lasting floral display. Exhibiting a trim no-coddle disposition, ‘Carl’ makes a fabulous cut flower, fresh or dried, and stand-out presentation in a favored pot, the rockery or a mixed border, especially when sprinkled alongside other toughies such as Eragrostis spectabilis or Eryngium ‘Big Blue’.

Blooms August–October

Size: 16" – 18" high x 18" – 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

It’s a wee stretch of the imagination, but maybe some of you will see the resemblance between the slightly rounded and closely stacked, short, chubby succulent leaves and an elderly gent’s vertebrae. Curious-looking dark green leaves craft a dense low creeping mat that attractively flushes red, purple and bronze tones in hot sun or cold weather. Brightened by clusters of starry yellow flowers, this distinctive tough-as-nails Sedum tantalizes butterflies, blankets the rockery or infills steps and endures drought once established.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 4" high x 8" – 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 3.

A recent Silver Medal winner at Boskoop’s European Plantarium Show, this Jose De Buck introduction struts a shorter, more manageable habit than its well-known parent, S.‘Purple Emperor’. Distinctive ovate leaves, bathed in opulent greenish eggplant shades, line the upstanding stocky dark stems, inspiring the cultivar name. At home in the border’s frontlines or in a glazed container, ‘Jose Aubergine’s compact stature creates a sumptuous foil for the flashy slabs of tiny bright pink blooms that lure bees as well as other garden visitors.

Blooms August–October

Size: 20" high x 16" – 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 3.

<i>Sedum</i> ‘Matrona’

A new German cultivar, ‘Matrona’s smoky pink flowers age to russet as winter approaches. Her red-hued, glistening stems are upright and lined with luscious blue-green foliage, each thick leaf displaying a vermilion midrib and margin. Plant our softly colored “matron” with Aster ‘Lady in Black’, Euphorbia ‘Jade Dragon’ and Pennisetum ‘Tall Tails’ for an arresting union.

Blooms August–October.

Size: 18" – 2' 0" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Bathed with opulent reddish purple hues and shouldered by swarthy stems that won’t flop, its impressive broad domed heads earned this highly sought after Sedum the coveted AGM award. ‘Mr. Goodbud’ is definitely handsome, sporting a tailored, well-branched, bushy and compact habit clad in pearly green succulent leaves. Spirited bicolored contrast is created when green buds initially reveal creamy toned petals, which quickly transmute vivid deeper shades. (pp#17,671)

Blooms August – October.

Size: 18" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Injecting an element of mysterious allure, ‘Purple Emperor’ hosts tantalizing, deep purple succulent foliage fastened to compact, dark reddish pink stems. Summer offers a perky lift as tight set, plum-hued buds become star-shaped flowers in dusky orchid shades.

Introduced by England’s former Washfield Nursery after it was discovered in the Sussex garden of the proprietor’s parents, this new, regally colored Sedum holds the coveted 2002 Outstanding Perennial Plant Award, and is an enticing counterpoint for Euphorbia ‘Black Pearl’.

Blooms July–August.

Size: 15" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Sedum spectabile</i> ‘Indian Chief’

‘Indian Chief’ commands our attention when its tranquil, pale green leaves and thick stems shoulder fiery red slabs of concentrated flowers. As the garden begins to wane, the hot-blooded blooms develop rusty chestnut hues and impart a vivid intensity to companions like Molinia ‘Bergfreund’ or Rudbeckia ‘Swiss Gold’.

Blooms August–October.

Size: 2' 0" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Sedum spectabile</i> ‘Neon’

An enhanced sport of Sedum ‘Brilliant’, this Sedum promises to dazzle. Larger, rounder, and more intensely colored than its relation, ‘Neon’ boasts close-knit bouquets with electrifying magenta flowers, which offset the cool shades of its succulent, light green foliage.

Blooms August–October.

Size: 18" – 2' 0" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Glut is German for ‘glow’, and aptly describes the vivid rosy red shades of this popular Sedum’s broad floral domes. A welcome destination for bees and butterflies, copious blooms are propped upon swarthy upright stems transmuting distinctive full-toned dark red hues in autumn, which effectively contrast the smooth fleshy gray-green leaves below and complement Molinia ‘Moorhexe’ and Geranium ‘Ann Folkard’.

Blooms August–October

Size: 18" – 2' 0" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Thanks to Dr. John Creech, the former director of the U.S. National Arboretum, this cute, yet durable, little Sedum found its way into our country from a Siberian Botanical Garden. A showy late blooming flourish of rose pink flowers festoons the small, round scalloped green leaves, which knit a tightset, low spreading, lush and succulent cover. Weed smothering, energetic and hardy, ‘John Creech’ is unfazed by light shade and is excellent for edging a pathway, creating a green roof and softening stonewalls or containers.

Blooms August–September.

Size: 3" – 4" high x 6" – 9" wide.

Hardy to zone 3.

There’s no escaping the spell that these devilishly handsome dark leaves and neon bright blooms will cast on you. Topped with a rosy red summertime icing of tiny star-shaped flowers arranged in 4-branched clusters, the rich mahogany red foliage is thick, obovate and toothed at the tips, while shrouding merlot-infused trailing stems. ‘Voodoo’ conjures a short trouble free carpet-like ground cover that relishes sandy or rocky soil, stays evergreen in milder climates, detests over watering and abates erosion.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 4" – 6" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 3.

Dense purplish red umbels, hefty dark maroon stems and thick pointed blue-green leaves with notched margins create an extraordinary carousel of color. Recently introduced by Jelitto Seeds, this late blooming Sedum can be planted in the rockery or a perennial bed where its lavish and contrasting hues play out best en masse.

The showy heads make great cut flowers, fresh or dried, but leave some in the garden for the butterflies, and for your enjoyment once the frost etches them in silver.

Blooms August – October.

Size: 16" high x 16" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

A hardy Russian native whose uninspired name belies its enduring good looks. ‘Hab Gray’ makes a bold statement with long, upright yet arching stems and intriguing colors. Stiff reddish stalks are offset by succulent foliage that’s glaucous, smoky purple and blush-tinged, while large domed clusters of tiny rose-hued buds and refreshing lemon-white flowers sojourn above.

Blooms August – October.

Size: 16" high x 16" wide.

Zone 3/4.

<i>Sedum telephium</i> ‘Karfunkelstein’

Fancied as one of the rising stars at the 2006 RHS Sedum Trials, this exceptional Ernest Pagels prodigy has a dainty demeanor. Copious rose red buds and small dusky pink flower heads crest a close-knit sea of upright multibranched green stems infused with lavish beet red shades. Ideal for gardens where space is scarce, the short stalwart stalks never flop and are clad in toothed gray-green spoon-shaped leaves with slate purple overtones, heightening ‘Karfunkelstein’s prismatic presentation.

Blooms August – October.

Size: 16" – 18" high x 18" – 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Sedum telephium</i> ‘Munstead Red’

An old favorite of Gertrude Jekyll’s, this low growing beauty delivers dense cauliflowerlike clusters elegantly painted in rosy reds and burnished with auburn tones come late fall. Straight maroon stems and toothed, pur-ple-infused, thick gray-green leaves create a trim, compelling foundation for the plush floral slices.

Blooms August – October.

Size: 18" high x 12" wide.

Zone 3/4.

A vibrant carousel of color and a neat compact visage earned this popular Sedum the RHS Garden Merit award in 2006 and a place in our border. Flashy cardinal-hued arching stems and notched blue-green succulent leaves with purple tinges elevate pale rosy buds and bright pink clustered flowers, which age to a dark ruby red.

Let ‘Red Cauli’ festoon a patio container or a pathway’s edge, accompanying other late blooming companions such as Salvia reptans West Texas Form and Calamagrostis foliosa.

Blooms July – October.

Size: 12" – 15" high x 18" wide.

Zone 3/4.

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Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Helianthus 'Sheila's Sunshine', Persicaria 'Summer Dance', and Selinum wallichianum

Helianthus ‘Sheila’s Sunshine - P-0461

The sunflower was once an emblem of the Sun God of the Incas. Our sunflowers tolerate a wide range of garden soils, attract bees, and make great cut flowers. Blooms early August – October.

Persicaria ‘Summer Dance’ - P-1312

With foliage that’s close to lime-green, and spiky floral tails that approach the scarlet spectrum of rosy pink, this slow spreading perennial is sure to please. Happiest in semishade with ample moisture. Blooms August–November.

Selinum wallichianum - P-1406

This refined Himalayan beauty happens to be one of our favorite perennial umbellifers. With untold elegance, infinitely divided leaves craft a delicate, lacelike transparency. The compact yet airy green canopy is framed by distinctive, purple-infused branching stems that elevate a charming, late season display of white flattened umbels.

Subduing the riotous array of summertime blooms, it seldom needs staking, and appreciates a well draining moist niche. Blooms June–August.

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