ROCK STONECROP

Sedum forsterianum

Stonecrop Family [Crassulaceae]  

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8Aug

status
statusZnative
 
flower
flower8yellow
 
morph
morph8actino
 
petals
petalsZ5 petalsZ6 petalsZ7
5-7[-9]
stem
stem8round
 
rarity
rarityZscarce
 

13th June 2014, a garden, Mirehouse, Bassenthwaite Lake, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
A native which is also popularly grown in gardens on walls and rocks. Natively found on rocks and scree in dry conditions or in wetter conditions in woods. A slightly domed profusion of yellow flowers tops a single stalk. The sterile stalks are much shorter and have many short pale greenish leaves in a tassel at the end.


11th July 2005, Grange Over Sands, Lancashire. Photo: © RWD
At up to 20cm it is shorter than the up to 35cm Reflexed Stonecrop and less robust. The lower leaves on the flowering stalk are mainly persisting dead ones (whereas those on Reflexed Stonecrop fall off when dead).


11th July 2005, Grange Over Sands, Lancashire. Photo: © RWD
And are short, less numerous, and held close to the flowering stem.


13th June 2014, a garden, Mirehouse, Bassenthwaite Lake, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
A profusion of yellow petals


13th June 2014, a garden, Mirehouse, Bassenthwaite Lake, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The lime-green sepal teeth are generally >90° but some may be just slighly more pointed (whereas those of Reflexed Stonecrop are <90°)


11th July 2005, Grange Over Sands, Lancashire. Photo: © RWD
Rock Stonecrop is mainly 7-petalled and with double that number of stamens with pollen-bearing anthers atop.


11th July 2005, Grange Over Sands, Lancashire. Photo: © RWD
With seven petals and fourteen stamens on the same flower. This specimen seems to have much larger anthers on the outer ring of anthers than those of the inner ring. Maybe another aberration.


13th June 2014, a garden, Mirehouse, Bassenthwaite Lake, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Unlike those of Reflexed Stonecrop the leaves are generally held upright and much closer to the stem, and are flat to concave on the upper/stem side.


13th June 2014, a garden, Mirehouse, Bassenthwaite Lake, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The sterile shoots are generally more upright than the rather sprawling ones of Reflexed Stonecrop.


13th June 2014, a garden, Mirehouse, Bassenthwaite Lake, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Unlike those of of Reflexed Stonecrop they have a compact tassel of leaves clustered at the tip with much fewer or no leaves below.


13th June 2014, a garden, Mirehouse, Bassenthwaite Lake, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
No book seems to make mention of the reddish dot on the outerside top of the tassel leaves on sterile shoots.


Easily confused with Reflex Stonecrop (sometimes called Large Rock Stonecrop), but that purportedly has flowers with only six petals not seven; possesses no flats (they are roundish instead) on the stem-ward side of the longer leaves; and the leaves splay out further from the stem, exposing themselves skywards rather than stem-wards. Unlike Rock Stonecrop, no lower leaves of Reflex Stonecrop are dead. Reflex Stonecrop is slightly taller than Rock Stonecrop, and also has a tendency for the flowering stems to flop over at the top when the flowers are in bud (not when they are open), hence the name reflex. Also, on Reflex Stonecrop, the much shorter sterile stems possess leaves that are fairly uniform on the stem, whereas on Rock Stonecrop, there is a compact tassel of leaves at the very top. The leaves of Rock Stonecrop usually have a point at the end of them, lacking on Reflex Stonecrop.

Rock stonecrop lives mainly on walls, rocks, scree and shingle, but can frequently be seen escaping from gardens.

Although nominally having seven petals, specimens with 5, 6 and 7 petals can be seen on a single flowering stem even on the few photos presented here. So has 7 petals may not be a very reliable identification feature. It can have as many as 9 petals!

Unlikely to be mistaken for: other yellow stonecrops, which are shorter than either Rock Stonecrop or the taller and ubiquitous on limesone Reflexed Stonecrop (Sedum forsterianum) are the usually 5-petalled 10cm high Biting Stonecrop (Sedum acre) which has a hot biting taste, and the much rarer but taller at 25cm Tasteless Stonecrop (Sedum sexangulare) which tastes of nothing.


  Sedum forsterianum  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Crassulaceae  

Distribution
family8Stonecrop family8Crassulaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8sedum
Sedum
(Stonecrops)

ROCK STONECROP

Sedum forsterianum

Stonecrop Family [Crassulaceae]  

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