Sedum ternatum

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: three-leaved stonecrop 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Crassulaceae
Native Range: Eastern United States
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Drought, Air Pollution


Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerates part shade and moist soils better than most other sedums.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Sedum ternatum, commonly called three-leaved stonecrop (also commonly called whorled stonecrop), is a small, spreading, Missouri native perennial which typically occurs in damp locations along stream banks, bluff bases and stony ledges (as in stonecrop). Grows 3-6" high and spreads by creeping stems which root at the nodes. Stems break away and die in winter, leaving newly rooted plants separated from the mother plant. Features small, rounded, fleshy, succulent-like leaves (to 3/4" long) which appear in whorls of three, thus giving rise to the common names. Clusters of tiny white, star-like flowers (to 1/2" wide) with purplish stamens appear on erect stems above the foliage in spring.

Genus name comes from the Latin word sedeo meaning to sit in reference to the general growing habit of many of the sedums (they sit and sprawl over rocks).

Specific epithet means in threes and is in reference to the leaves which appear in whorls of three.


No serious insect or disease problems. Botrytis is an occasional problem. Although it spreads by creeping stems, any unwanted plants are easy to remove.


Best in rock gardens or as a ground cover. Native plant garden.