Saturday, February 6, 2010

Was there ever a plant cuter than a sedum?

No WAY! Sedums are THE most cutey-est plants EVER! Just lookit how cute!
Sedums & dracena
Was there ever a plant more difficult to identify as to species and variety? I doubt it. According to Wayne Fagerlund at SedumPhotos.Net, there are over 600 varieties of sedum. According to me, approximately 469 of the sedums in nurseries are mislabeled. OK, maybe that's an exaggeration. Let's say 269. Give or take 100.

This is a sedum rock garden I made a few weeks ago. I originally planned to give it away as a gift for someone's 60th birthday. Unfortunately, once the pot was full of plants, cactus potting mix and decomposed granite, it was too way heavy to lift easily, so I had to make a smaller one for the birthday girl.

I found the beautiful blue pot on sale a few months ago at Shoal Creek Nursery. All the sedums were grown by Gabriel Valley Farms in Georgetown and purchased at Dromgoole's Natural Gardener.

Starting from the tall draecena at the top of the pot in the first photo (we'll call that spot North), and working counter-clockwise, here are closeups of each little baby, with their names, as they were labeled by the grower.

Trailing sedum
In the NW corner of the pot lies this green trailing sedum, aptly named "Sedum: Trailing." It was also labeled "S. brevifolium", although to me, it looks more like a Sedum album clusianum (but what do I know?). Behind it is an unlabeled sedum that looks exactly like the "Red Carpet" sedum spurium I bought at Dromgoole's last summer.

Sedum close up
Here we are at the SW corner of the pot. The green trailing sedum in this photo was labeled "Coral Carpet/Sedum album." We'll see if it turns red in the sun (that is, if the sun ever comes out again)! The bronze and green trailing sedum (with much smaller rosettes than the "Red Carpet" sedum in the previous photo) was labeled "Salsa Verde/S. makinoi". It looks rather like S. makinoi "Kosmosje"; perhaps the salsa reference was made up by a local to describe a Kosmosje hybrid? The largest plant on the right was labeled "Bronze Ghost Plant." A Ghost Plant is not a sedum, it's rather a Graptopetalum, but a Bronze Ghost Plant is a Graptosedum.

Sedum close up
In the SE corner, next to the ghost plant, we have "Sedum: Varigated/Sedum kamtschati." Isn't it adorable? However, it looks nothing like S. Kamtschaticum, which all have larger, more rounded leaves. I think it looks more like a S. lineare variegatum, which has a more pointed leaf.

Sedum dasyphyllum & a penny
In this last photo, nestled in the NE corner of the pot, is "Baby Tears Sedum/S. dasyphyllum", which appears to be properly labeled. Look at all the colors in the leaves at the base of the dracaena -- isn't it gorgeous? The dracaena was labeled, "Dracaena." That narrows it down to about, oh, 100 species, give or take a dozen. If I had to guess (and it seems I do), I'd say it was a D. marginata tricolor. What do you think? Between the dracaena and the Baby Tears sedum are a few springs of lemony-green Watch Chain Plant or Lizard's Tail (Crassula muscosa). It's usually more of a blue-green color. It probably needs fertilizer.

Over the next several months to a year, the sedums should spread, and the dracaena will get bigger, and eventually I'll have to repot the whole thing.

Tiny sedum garden
This is the small pot I made for the birthday gift. It contains sprigs of nearly everything in the bigger pot. (I stuck a sprig of the varigated sedum in the pot after I took this photo.) This pot is only about 3 inches across. I felt a bit guilty at keeping the big pot, but it really is heavy, and the recipient seemed to like this little one just fine.

Cold-tolerant, heat-tolerant, drought-tolerant: yes, I do loves me some sedums!

Words and photos © 2009-2010 Caroline Homer for "The Shovel-Ready Garden". Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

10 comments:

  1. Sedum? I don't even know him!

    My guess on the Dracaena is that it's probably not a Dracaena. I suspect Cordyline australis or C. stricta. I can't explain why. It just looks . . . wrong, to be a D. marginata.

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  2. Sedums became very popular with me this last year. I love the pinch and poke to make more attribute of these plants..and yes, that have a wonderful attitude!

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  3. Mr. S, I hear ya. It doesn't look cane-y enough to be a Dracaena.

    Darla, I love that too! If I break a chunk off by accident, I just stick it in the pot and it roots!

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  4. They are so cute, I agree. I love them all in all heights and colors - you've got a pot full of fun there!

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  5. I love them too, Caroline. And I am only just learning a few of their names. You're right--most of them come unlabeled or incorrectly labeled.

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  6. I nominated you for a Sunshine award! See my blog at:
    http://fitsandstartsaustin.blogspot.com/2010/02/ray-of-golden-sunshine.html

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  7. I am also having a love affair with sedums. I love your pots. Any gardener would be happy to have a gift like that. Sedums do travel though. I have S. potosinum and it is about to take over my whole garden.

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  8. no, I do NOT think there's a plant cuter than a sedum! Your container designs are beautiful!

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  9. Love your post! I have several Sedums, some like yours but with different names (lol). Not only is miss labeling frustrating, but so is when plant names change and the nurseries don't change them. I have two blogs, The Mystical Mansion and Garden and The Belmont Rooster.

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