Stonecrops can withstand neglect

Stonecrops can withstand neglect

Looking for a perennial you can buy, plant and virtually forget? It might be that one of the sedums is just what you are looking for. Sedum is the name for a large genus of plants many call “stonecrops.” There are about 400 species to choose from. Some of the sedums like hot weather while some prefer cold. Some are yellowish in color while some are green or other colors. Some creep along the ground and quickly fill an area. What they have in common are the characteristic thick leaves of succulents. The leaves store water so you don’t have to remember to water them very often at all. The flowers of the sedums usually have five petals.

Consider adding a sedum variety or two to your garden. They are hardy and add personality to your garden. Most all of the sedums or stonecrops have edible leaves. That being said, we probably would not prefer sedum leaves to common lettuce leaves as our dinner salad. Some of the leaves have an interesting bitter taste while others have a peppery flavor and might be fun to add in to a traditional lettuce salad.

According to Wikipedia, the ancient Grecians used sedums to treat epilepsy and skin disease. Interestingly, sedum are commonly used in making “green roofs.” The Ford truck plant in Deerborn, Mich., has a living roof of sedum that covers 10.4 acres! The Rolls Royce Motor Car company in England has a 22,500 square foot roof complex covered in sedum.

So maybe you don’t want to cover your roof with sedum. It is still a most perfect plant for somewhere remote in your yard where you can’t water or don’t remember to water. You can abuse sedum. This perennial can be so attractive. Imagine a creeping sedum making its way between and around a rocky area in your yard. This little soldier plant will make its way into cracks in a stonewall or along the sides of a walkway. You can create a border with sedum or tame them in a container. Give them a dry, sunny spot and just enjoy them growing even in the worst of soils.