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Sedums

Articles: Sedums

Sedum rubrotinctum ‘Aurora’ Photo: Luen Miller, Monterey Bay Nursery

Sedums have become such a common sight in West Coast gardens that it’s easy to both take them for granted and think we know them. A widespread genus, Sedum species are found in Europe, North Africa, and Asia. There are even species endemic to Mexico and the western United States. In fact, one could postulate that we’ve been colonized by sedums—we just don’t know it.

The term sedum is from the Latin word “sedo” meaning “to sit,” in reference to their ground-covering nature. Sedums are quite diverse in form as well, being deciduous, semi-evergreen or evergreen, and taking the form of a perennial ground cover, sub-shrub, or shrub. The leaf form also reflects the great variety found among the 400 species in this genus. They have opposite, whorled, or alternate leaves that can be fleshy, flattened, or cylindrical. Add to this the great variety in tiny, star-shaped flowers, which appear in terminal panicles, cymes, or corymbs ranging in size from one-half inch to nearly ten inches and you get an idea of just how successful this genus has been....

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Articles: Calochortophilia: A Californian’s Love Affair with a Genus by Katherine Renz

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