Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Though we may often think of the stonecrops and other Sedums as garden plants, there are a number of native species in the eastern U.S. In addition, some introduced species have naturalized in the area.
Mossy stonecrop (Sedum acre) is also known as love-entangle and wallpepper. This evergreen has creeping, matted stems that root freely as they spread along the ground. This has attractive yellow, starlike blooms. These open in June and July. It is found in dry open areas, along walls, and in rocky areas in the Northeast south to Virginia. It also grows in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest. This is recommended for zones 3-8.
Nuttall stonecrop (Sedum nuttallianum) is a native annual species. It has erect or spreading stems that are 4 inches tall. The yellow blooms appear in June. This is found in dry, rocky areas in Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma to Texas. Recommended for zone 5-8.
Widow’s-cross or rock-moss (Sedum pulchellum) is another annual species. It has freely branching stems. Widows-cross blooms in late May through early July. This species is found in thin soil, and dry to moist rocky woods from Virginia to Alabama westward to Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, and Texas. Recommended for zones 5-8.
Stringy stonecrop (Sedum sarmentosum) is a slender perennial introduced from eastern Asia. Escaped from cultivation, it is now found in open woods, waste areas, and along roadsides from New Jersey to Pennsylvania west to Ohio. . The yellow blossoms open in June and July. Recommended for zones 3-8.
Sedum rupestre is another species that escaped from cultivation. Now found at the borders of woods and in waste places and along roadsides, it grows wild in Massachusetts and New York. This evergreen has yellow blooms in June and July. Recommended for zones 5-8.
Once worm grass (Sedum album) was introduced to the U.S., it also spread from cultivation in Pennsylvania and Ohio where it is found in old fields, and waste places. It can form large mats. This has white flowers. There is a variety with purplish foliage and pink blooms. Recommended for zones 3-8.
Sedum ternatum also spread from cultivation. It is found from New York and Michigan to Illinois, south to Georgia and Tennessee. It grows along damp roadsides, mossy banks, and damp rocky places. This blooms from April to June.
Once it was introduced from Eurasia, two-row stonecrop ( Sedum spurium) spread and became naturalized. This plant is found in old fields, along banks, and rocky and sandy roadsides from New York to Pennsylvania. This creeping perennial makes a great ground cover. This has white to pink petals, and blooms from June through August. Recommended for zones 3-8.
Live-forever is also known as garden-orpine and frogplant (Sedum purpureum). This native is a coarse erect perennial. It grows in open woods, along open banks, and roadsides throughout the Midwest and Northeast southward to Maryland. The purple-red blossoms open from July through September. This is recommended for zones 4-8. Another species is known by the same name, including garden-orpine (Sedum alboroseum) This was introduced from Asia, and spread from cultivation from the Northeast to Virginia. The white petals have a pinkish tinge. These open from July through September. Recommended for zones 4-8.
Among the native species is cliff-stonewort (Sedum galucophyllum). This is found from Virginia to West Virginia where it prefers damp, rocky places. This plant has spirally arranged foliage and prostrate stems. The white blooms open from May through August. Recommended for zones 6-8.
Live forever (Sedum telephioides) is a native species. It is found from New York to Illinois southward to Georgia where it prefers knobs and cliffs. This perennial blooms from August through September. Recommended for zones 4-8.
Another native has a wide range of distribution. Sedum rosea can be found from the Arctic to Maine, Vermont, New York, and Pennsylvania as well as Roan Mountain in North Carolina. This was originally a Eurasian species. This blooms May through August. Recommended for zones 3-8.