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[
Amerosedum divergens (S.Watson) Á.Löve & D.Löve
Common Name: Pacific Stonecrop
Sedum divergens is an evergreen perennial plant, somewhat tufted, with branched, decumbent stems that become erect or ascending. It can grow up to 15cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and a medicine.
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[
Western N. America - Alaska, British Colombia, Alberta, Washington, Oregon, California.
Rocky slopes and ledges of cliffs, scree, semistable talus, lava fields; at elevations up to 2,300 metres[
]. Alpine to sub-alpine rocky ledges, ridges and talus slopes[
Sedum divergens is a moderately cold-hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to around -20°c when dormant[
Most Sedum species will grow best if given a moist, but well-drained, fairly fertile soil in a sunny position[
]. Many of the species will do well in quite dry positions, in poor soils and in light shade - see notes on the plant's habitat for ideas about this[
]. Most species are somewhat to very drought tolerant[
All members of this genus are said to have edible leaves, though those species, such as this one, 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[
]. The leaves are very small and round, looking rather like a small green berry[
]. They have a crisp texture and were valued as a food by some North American Indian tribes who would eat them raw[
The plant has been used in the treatment of piles and has been given to children as a laxative[
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.