Sedum spurium 'Tricolor'
Common Name: Caucasian stonecrop
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Crassulaceae
Zone: 3 to 9
Height: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: May to July
Bloom Description: Pink
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Drought, Erosion, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil, Air Pollution

Culture

Easily grown in acidic, average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates some light shade. Likes sandy or gravelly soils. Tolerates poor soils. Needs good soil drainage to perform well. Drought tolerant. Avoid overwatering. Plants may be sited 12” apart when grown as a ground cover. Easily propagated by cuttings or division. Plants spread easily (root where nodes touch the ground). Cut a leaf from a healthy sedum with about 1-2" of stem and plant the stem with the leaf above soil. Plants are evergreen in warm winter climates.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Sedum spurium, commonly called Caucasian stonecrop or two row stonecrop, is a low-growing, sprawling, mat-forming sedum or stonecrop that is commonly grown as a ground cover. It is native to the Caucusus. This is an evergreen plant that typically rises only 3-6” tall but spreads to 18-24” wide by creeping, branching stems that easily root at the nodes. Thick, succulent, opposite, obovate, flattened leaves (to 1” long) with wedge-shaped bases are toothed near the ends. Leaves are medium green with reddish-tinged margins. Lower stem leaves are deciduous, but newer leaves near the stem tips are evergreen, typically turning deep burgundy in fall for overwintering. Leaves are arranged in two rows along the stems, hence the sometimes used common name of two row stonecrop. Tiny, 5-petaled, star-shaped, pinkish-red flowers (to 3/4” diameter) in dense, 4-branched inflorescences (to 4-6" tall) bloom from late spring to mid-summer (June-July in St. Louis) atop upright reddish flower stems. Flowers are attractive to butterflies.

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 false. Its use here is unclear.

‘Tricolor’ is a sprawling, low-growing, ground-hugging, mat-forming stonecrop (also commonly called two-row stonecrop because leaves are in two columns along the stems) that is frequently grown as a ground cover. Tricolor leaves (each to 1" long) feature green in the center with white margins tinged with pink. Leaves are opposite, thick, succulent, toothed near the tips, obovate, flattened and narrower than those of the species. Leaf color remains attractive throughout the growing season. This is an evergreen plant that typically rises only 3-6” tall but spreads to 12-18” wide. Creeping, branching stems root at the nodes. Tiny, star-shaped, pink flowers (to 3/4” diameter) bloom in four-branched inflorescences (cymes to 4-6” tall) in late spring to mid-summer (June-July in St. Louis).

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Slugs and snails may appear. Watch for scale.

Garden Uses

Rock garden or small area ground cover. Border fronts. Stone wall pockets. Sunny banks or slopes. Edging. Containers. Best when planted in groups or massed as a ground cover.