Hylotelephium telephium subsp. ruprechtii
Common Name: stonecrop
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Crassulaceae
Native Range: Eastern Europe to Japan
Zone: 3 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: August to October
Bloom Description: Yellow-white with pink edges
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil

Culture

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Thrives in sandy to gravelly soils of moderate to low fertility. Tolerates some light part shade in hot summer climates, but will produce weak floppy growth when grown in too much shade or in overly rich soils. Needs good soil drainage to perform well. Drought tolerant. Propagate by divisions in spring or stem cuttings in summer. Detached leaves can be rooted in soil to form new plants.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Hylotelephium telephium, commonly known as stonecrop, orpine or live-forever, is a succulent herbaceous perennial which typically grows in an upright to semi-upright mound on unbranched stems rising to 18-24” tall. It features (a) fleshy, flat, coarsely-toothed, elliptic, alternate (but sometimes opposite on axillary shoots), dull green to blue-green leaves (to 3” long), (b) fleshy stems and (c) tiny, star-like, pink to white flowers (to 1/2” across) which bloom from late summer to frost (August-October) in dense rounded flower heads (corymbose cymes to 3-4” across). Flower color fades to burgundy brown as the flowers age. Upper leaves are sessile. This plant is native from eastern Europe to China and Japan, but has escaped gardens and naturalized in many parts of the U. S., primarily in eastern and central States (Maine to Minnesota south to Kansas, Alabama, and North Carolina) plus Idaho and Washington.

At one point in the recent past, some of the taller sedums, including Sedum telephium, were separated from Sedum and reassigned to the genus Hylotelephium. Some experts including RHS and The Plant List have not followed this trend and continue to list the within plant as a Sedum.

Subsp. ruprechtii is native to meadows and river margins in northeastern Europe. It is primarily distinguished from the species by its slightly more compact growth (to 16” tall) and its leaves which are gray-green, decussate (leaf pairs are at right angles from the leaf pair above and below), suborbicular (nearly rounded), cordate (heart-shaped lobe), and amplexicaul (leaf bases wrapped around the stem). Yellow-white flowers with pink-tinted edges bloom late summer into fall.

Genus name probably honor Telephus, King of Mysia and son of Hercules.

Specific epithet probably also honor King Telephus.

Common name of stonecrop is in reference to the fact that many hylotelephiums and sedums are typically found in the wild growing on rocky or stony ledges. Common name of live-forever is in reference to the vigorous and persistent characteristics of this plant which is easy to grow (will regenerate from a single leaf) and whose mature foliage will remain for some time on cut stems or uprooted plants without falling off. Common name of orpine comes from the Old French word orpiment in reference to an ancient variety of sedum.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Slugs, scale, mealybugs, nematodes, aphids and weevils may appear.

Garden Uses

Large rock gardens or border fronts. Specimen or groups. Containers.