Sedum telephium 'Dark Magic'

Landscape view
Common Name: stonecrop 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Crassulaceae
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 1.75 feet
Bloom Time: August to October
Bloom Description: Dark pink
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful
Attracts: Hummingbirds, Butterflies
Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil


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

Sedum 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 is often hybridized with a similar upright species known as Sedum spectabile (e.g., see H. AUTUMN JOY), but is primarily distinguished from S. spectabile by its alternate leaves (S. spectabile leaves are opposite or in whorls of 3-4). 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 reddish purple 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. Foliage and dead inflorescences often persist into winter providing some additional interest. This plant is native from eastern Europe to China and Japan, but has been introduced into many other parts of the world including Canada and the U.S. where it has escaped cultivation and naturalized in a number of areas from Quebec to Saskatchewan plus the Yukon territory and from Maine to Minnesota south to Kansas, Alabama, and North Carolina plus Washington and Idaho. This plant is synonymous with Hylotelephium telephium.

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 is of uncertain meaning. It may refer to Telephus, a king of Mysia in Asia Minor.

Common name of stonecrop is in reference to the fact that many sedums and hylotelephiums 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.

'Dark Magic' is a compact, dark-leaved selection of stonecrop that features dark pink blooms and a narrowly upright growth habit. Mature plants will reach 1' tall and spread to fill a 1.75' area. The small, star-shaped flowers bloom from late summer into fall and are held in dense, terminal clusters reaching up to 7" wide. The flowers are attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies and other insect pollinators. The dark purple-red, oblong to ovate, succulent foliage will reach up to 2.75" long and 1.25" wide. This plant is protected by patent number PP27619.


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


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