The genus Sedum (sensu lato) is a large and diverse grouping of species. Various molecular studies since 1995 have indicated that many of these species would be better placed within segregate genera - a treatment that is not universally recognized. We have chosen to follow the Flora of China[
] and Flora of N. America[
] in recognizing these new genera. When the nomenclatural, biogeographic, and morphological data has become available for many other groupings within Sedum, it is likely that more new genera will be established - to date we have transferred a number of species to the genera Hylotelephium. Phedimus and Rhodeola[
Leucosedum album (L.) Fourr.
Oreosedum album (L.) Grulich
Oreosedum serpentini (Janch.) Grulich
Sedum athoum DC.
Sedum clusianum Guss.
Sedum gombertii Sennen
Sedum micranthum Bastard ex DC.
Sedum serpentini Janch.
Sedum teretifolium Lam.
Sedum vermiculifolium P.Fourn.
Common Name: Small Houseleek
Sedum album is an evergreen perennial plant with fibrous roots and a creeping rhizome. It produces a mat of prostrate short, sterile shoots 2 - 3cm long and erect flowering stems 8 - 30cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine. It is grown on a commercial basis for use in 'green roofing' systems; is occasionally cultivated as a medicinal and food plant; and is sometimes also grown as an ornamental, where it can be used as a ground cover.
All species in the genus Sedum (including the closely allied genera such as Hylotelephium and Phedimus) have more or less edible leaves and young flowering stems, though they are not always totally desireable with several species having bitter, acrid or peppery flavours!
However, the plants contain various alkaloids including sedine and sedamine. These can sometimes cause gastric upsets, usually of a mild nature[
]. This is most likely to happen with species that have yellow flowers, though eating large quantities of any species could be problematic[
Eurasia - Norway to Portugal (naturaliized in Britain), east to Ukraine, the Caucasus, Turkey, Iran, Lebanon and Syria; N. Africa - Morocco to Libya
Rocks, walls, cobbled paths etc, in dry sunny situations on acid or calcareous soils[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Pollinators||Bees, Flies, Self
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Sedum album is a moderately cold-hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to around -20°c when dormant[
Requires a sunny position[
], tolerating only very light shade[
]. A very easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils[
] but prefers a fertile well-drained soil[
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
], they grow well in dry soils and succeed on a wall[
Plants spread rapidly and aggressively at the roots[
]. If clearing the plant from an area it is quite important to try and remove every part of the plant since even a leaf or a small part of the stem, if left on the ground, can form roots and develop into a new plant[
This species has white flowers. All members of this genus are said to have edible leaves, though those species that have yellow flowers can cause stomach upsets if they are eaten in quantity[
Species in this genus are often specially targeted by slugs[
Plants in this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits[
Leaves - raw or cooked[
]. Usually eaten as a pickle[
], though it can also be added to salads or cooked with other leafy vegetables[
The leaves and stems are applied externally as a poultice to inflammations and are especially recommended for treating painful haemorrhoids[
The plant spreads aggressively and can be used for ground cover in a sunny position amongst plants tall enough not to be overrun by it. It is best planted about 45cm apart each way[
]. Strong growing bulbs such as some lilies will grow happily through this ground cover[
The plant can grow in very low moisture levels and has been used as a green covering on roofs[
]. Green roofs are incorporated into the structure of the building, providing habitats for wildlife as well as insulating the building and helping to improve the environmen.t The subspecies minima and the cultivars 'Athorum' and 'Coral Carpet' have been specifically mentioned in this respect.
Seed - surface sow in spring in well-drained soil in a sunny position in a greenhouse. Do not allow the soil to dry out. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. If sufficient growth is made, it is possible to plant them out during the summer, otherwise keep them in a cold-frame or greenhouse for their first winter and plant them out in early summer of the following year[
Division is very easy and can be carried out at almost any time in the growing season, though is probably best done in spring or early summer. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.
Individual leaves, when detached from the plant, will often form roots and develop into a new plant[