Sedum glaucophyllum-Cliff Stonecrop

Sedum glaucophyllum on 4-15-12, #86-65.

Cliff Stonecrop

Sedum glaucophyllum

SEE-dum   glaw-koh-FIL-um

Sedum glaucophyllum R.T.Clausen is the correct and accepted scientific name for this species of Sedum. It was named and described by Robert Theodore Clausen in the Cactus and Succulent Journal in 1946.

The 2013 version of The Plant List, the USDA Plants Database, and the SucculentGuide all say Sedum glaucophyllum is an accepted scientific name. However, it is not listed on the new Plants of the World Online by Kew or Llifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms). 

When I was in contact with Margrit Bischofberger of the International Crassulaceae Network, she told me she didn’t think this plant was a Sedum glaucophyllum. 

Well, here’s the deal. Believe me, I am no expert, so I sometimes have to rely on those who know much more than me when I have an ID issue. From time to time I have done some research on what other possibilities this plant could be. I see similar flowers but they have always led to Sedum glaucophyllum but the leaves are usually different. I joined the forum connected with Daiv Freeman’s CactusGuide and SucculentGuide and posted a photo of this plant. One of the members replied and said the “flowers say clearly Sedum glaucophyllum.” He also said this is a variable species.

In my opinion, when a species is variable, the variations need to be given a name associated with that “variation” such as Sedum glaucophyllum var. ?. There are MANY accepted varieties of plants in all plant families. While they are a certain species because of certain characteristics, as with the flowers, they are a variation because their leaves may be different. Of course, the industry sells plants that are mislabeled or their scientific names have changed which can complicate the issue. Here we have a plant, labeled Sedum glaucophyllum, who’s flowers match that species but the leaves don’t because it is a variable species. GEEZ! I am quite sure there are other species of Sedum with similar leaves who’s Latin name is for the type of leaves.

Distinctively Sedum glaucophyllum flowers on 4-15-12, #86-66.

I bought this AWESOME Sedum glaucophyllum from Lowe’s in Greenville, Mississippi in the spring of 2012 while living at the mansion in Leland. It did very well for several months then somehow just fizzled out.

Sedum glaucophyllum is native of the Appalachian Mountains from West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina. The description on the Wikipedia says the leaves are “glaucous green, succulent, rounded, long and wide, arranged in a dense helix on the stems. The flowers are white, with five slender, pointed petals…” Ummm, that does NOT describe this plant. 

Family: Crassulaceae
Origin: West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina, USA
Zones: USDA Zones 5a-9b (-20 to 25° F)
Size: 6” to 8” tall
Light: Sun to part shade
Soil: Well-drained
Water: Average water needs

Growing the Sedum glaucophyllum was somewhat interesting because I had not had any die on me up to that point. I realize now that the Sedum genus is very large and native to many parts of the world and many have different requirements. What caused this plant to die in Leland, Mississippi? Probably the heat and humidity in the middle of the summer.

All Sedum I am familiar with need well-draining soil and should not be in any low areas where water may not drain well. Try planting them in a raised bed or an area that is elevated. They do well in planters where their stems can trail over the sides. This species is not one that really needs to be brought inside for the winter, but they may do OK in a sunroom or greenhouse.

They need bright light but this species seems to prefer light shade. Mine was growing in the corner bed behind the den where it received ample morning sun and afternoon shade. Light shade is also good where they are planted under trees that have been limbed high. Dappled shade like some trees provide is also good. If you know how to communicate with your plants, they will let you know when they need a change.

They are drought tolerant but appreciate regular watering during the growing period. In many areas they will receive spring rains, but in the summer, as with most perennials and annuals, they need supplemental water. As temperatures start to get cooler and day length decreases, you should stop watering.

Maybe someday I will run another Sedum glaucophyllum to try. If you have had experience with this plant, or have had one with similar leaves, I would like to hear from you. If you have any other ideas what species this could be besides Sedum glaucophyllum, I would ESPECIALLY like to hear from you.

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant.


Please leave a comment. I would like to hear from you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.