Plant Taxonomy of Chocolate Drop Stonecrop:
"Succulent" is a term with a wide application. It not only includes the various types of stonecrops but also such plants as:
To view examples of succulents, see my pictures of cacti and succulents.
Succulents can store water in their foliage and stems, which is why they tend to resist drought so effectively. The water content in their leaves and stems helps account for their feeling "fleshy."
The word, "succulent" is also used, of course, in the world of cuisine, where it means "juicy." The overlap between this usage and the way the term is used in the plant world should be apparent: both refer to moisture content.
This succulent with the sweet-sounding name puts out flower heads of pink flowers for me in zone 5 in July; for a picture of the blooms, click "More Images" under the photo (above right). But growing Chocolate Drop sedum is not really about the blossoms. It derives its colorful cultivar name from its best feature, which is its leaves.
The plant grows in a clump, which comprises multiple stems of a reddish-purple color. My second-year plant currently has 13 such stems; as the clump expands, that number will increase. Leaves of a dull purple color (some green is mixed in, too, if you look up-close) encircle the stems. From a distance, what you basically see is a dark plant: that's the operative word here.
Chocolate Drop sedum grows to about one foot in height; at maturity, its spread may be twice that.
Planting Zones for Chocolate Drop Sedum:
Sun and Soil Requirements for Chocolate Drop Sedum:
Uses in Landscaping:
Wildlife Drawn -- and Not Drawn -- to the Plant:
Outstanding Features of Chocolate Drop Stonecrop:
With its chocolaty leaves, this plant gives you a lot of choices for playing with colors. It contrasts effectively with Angelina sedum on two levels, color-wise:
- With the yellow flowers of Angelina
- And with Angelina's chartreuse leaves
But in addition, there's a nice contrast between the two stonecrops in terms of texture, Angelina's leaves exhibiting a fine texture by comparison.
I enjoy this dark-colored succulent most before it blooms. The flower-heads of mid-summer tend to weigh the stems down (at least in the soil in which I'm growing mine), meaning I would have to stake the plants to preserve the tidy appearance they displayed earlier in the summer.
Other types of stonecrops include: