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Angelina Stonecrop

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Photo of Angelina stonecrop.

Photo of Angelina stonecrop.

David Beaulieu

Taxonomy of Angelina Stonecrop:

Plant taxonomy classifies Angelina stonecrop as Sedum rupestre 'Angelina.' Sedums are referred to by the common name, "stonecrop" plants, although "sedum" itself is so widely used as to be virtually a common name. 'Angelina' is the cultivar name.

Plant Type for Angelina Stonecrop:

Angelina stonecrop plants are flowering, succulent, evergreen perennials.

Characteristics of Angelina Stonecrop:

Angelina stonecrop is a fast-growing plant that stays short (ca. 6") and quickly spreads to form a mat, making it an easy-to-grow groundcover. Mine didn't bloom the first year, but produced clusters of star-shaped yellow blooms on tall flower stalks the second year (early-to-mid-summer). During most of the growing season, the needle-like foliage will be chartreuse or golden, depending, in part, on the amount of sun it's getting (the more sun, the more golden it will be). Tints of orange or rust may come into the foliage in fall. Angelina stonecrop stays green all winter in my zone 5 garden (albeit buried in snow!).

Planting zones for Angelina Stonecrop:

Some list Angelina stonecrop as a perennial for zone 7 and higher; others, more daring, suggest it can be grown in zone 6. My own experience refutes both claims as overly cautious. I have been successful at growing Angelina stonecrop in planting zone 5.

Sun and Soil Requirements for Angelina Stonecrop:

Grow these sedum plants in full sun to partial shade, in a well-drained soil with a neutral pH. Angelina stonecrop is a drought-tolerant ground cover once established. Golden foliage is promoted by a location in full sun.

Uses for Angelina Stonecrop in Landscape Design:

Because of its chartreuse or golden foliage color, this sedum looks especially good when combined with plants that have dark or reddish foliage. For the same reason, I like the way Angelina stonecrop is set off by a red mulch (see picture above right). Mass Angelina stonecrop plants together for use as a groundcover or perennial border. Nice rock garden plants, these succulents can also be planted between the stones in a dry-wall stone retaining wall. I've seen them planted in patio containers and hanging baskets, too.

Care for Angelina Stonecrop:

Angelina stonecrop plants are easy to grow, and these perennials are easy to propagate by rooting. In fact, stems that break off sometimes root all by themselves! Prune them whenever (if ever) you feel they've become too large. The yellow flower clusters are reasonably attractive (for a photo, click the picture above to open the mini-photo gallery), although the flower stalks are awkwardly tall. But once the blooms fade, you're left with rather ugly brown stalks, which I like to remove for aesthetic reasons.

Wildlife Attracted by Angelina Stonecrop :

Butterflies are attracted to Angelina stonecrop; deer, fortunately, are not.

Name Origin for "Sedum" or "Stonecrop" Plants:

"Stonecrop" is from the Middle English and literally means "sprouting from the stone," a reference to the plant's commonly being seen growing amongst stones (which provide the drainage that stonecrop plants crave). "Stonecrop" doubles as the name of the family to which the genus, Sedum belongs.

"Sedum" itself derives from this same observation of where stonecrop plants tend to grow. It comes from the Latin, sedere, meaning "sit" -- as in "sitting" atop the stones.

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