Variegated Orange or Russian Stonecrop
Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’
Phedimus kamtschaticus ‘Variegatum’
ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY AWARD OF GARDEN MERIT
Sedum kamtschaticum Fisch. & C.A.Mey. was named and described by Friedrich Ernst Ludwig von (Fedor Bogdanovic) Fischer and Carl Anton (Andreevič) Meyer in Index Seminum in 1841. Plants of the World Online by Kew lists 10 synonyms of Sedum kamtschaticum.
Phedimus kamtschaticus (Fisch.) ’t Hart was described by Henk ’t Hart and Urs Eggli in Evolution and Systematics of the Crassulaceae in 1995.
The genus, Sedum L., was named and described as such my Carl von Linnaeus in the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753. Plants of the World Online by Kew currently lists 546 accepted species in the Sedum genus (as of when I am updating this page on March 24, 2019). They also list 44 genera that are now synonyms of the genus.
The genus, Phedimus Raf., was named and described by Constantine Samuel Rafinesque in the American Monthly Magazine and Critical Review in 1817.
I had been in correspondence with one of the foremost Crassulaceae experts, Margrit Bischofberger of the International Crassulaceae Network, and she had this to say in an email in 2013…
“For the plant now called Phedimus kamtschaticus :
It has been described as a Sedum species in 1841 and has been considered a Sedum species for a very long time. The genus Sedum in a wide sense has been used to accommodate a great number of sometimes fairly diverse plants. At the end of the last century botanists have begun to separate certain groups with distinctive features and give them new names, > Phedimus, > Hylotelephium, < Rhodiola, > Orostachys etc.
So now the correct name of a group of plants with flat leaves which are often serrate or dentate is Phedimus. That means it is the other way round: The accepted name is Phedimus kamtschaticus and the earlier name S. kamtschaticum is a synonym.”
Tropicos (a division of the Missouri Botanical Garden) still maintains Phedimus kamtschaticus is the accepted name. Previously, the USDA Plants Database said Phedimus kamtschaticus was the accepted name, but now it says Sedum kamtschaticum.
In an email from the Senior Content Editor of Kew on August 23 (2018), he said: “As to Sedum, POWO still takes a wide view of the genus because there is not yet an agreed system to deal with it. Most of the research has been done in Europe on European species for which a number of genera have been made but it is unclear how they relate to the Asian and American species. So until this is settled we will retain a large Sedum.”
It will be interesting to see how this plays out…
I bought this 6-pack of Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’ from Lowe’s in Greenville, Mississippi in 2012 while living at the mansion in Leland. I was negotiating the sale of the mansion and it was fall, so I decided not to put them in the ground.
I spaced the plants out in a large pot and kept them in the east sunroom with the other plants for the winter. If temperatures permitted, I moved them to the 40’ long front porch.
After I sold the mansion, dad asked me to move back to the family farm in mid-Missouri. Even though I gave up a couple hundred pots, I made the move in February 2013. I brought most of the cactus and succulents and many other plants I didn’t want to give away including the Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’.
While many of the succulents did amazingly well for the remainder of the winter in the basement, this Sedum was not one of them. I almost lost it completely to the point I didn’t even take photos again until 2016… For some reason, it has been a battle with this plant even though the non-variegated Sedum kamtschaticum has continued to do very well.
It did better in 2016 and even spread a little.
In 2017 I moved it to the cast iron planter with the Sempervivum ‘Killer. I also moved the Cylindropuntia imbricata to this planter.
Origin: Japan, Kamchatka, Kuril Island
Zones: USDA Zones 4a-9b (-30 to 25° F)
Size: 6-12” tall
Light: Full to part sun
Water: Average, drought tolerant
I really like this variegated form of Sedum kamtschaticum or Phedimus kamtschaticus (whatever you choose to call it). I am just not sure why it hasn’t taken off and done well. It has been in an area where it has full sun, well, most of the time, and the soil is very well drained.
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 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.
Luckily it survived the winter again…
It started greening up…
It started growing new stems…
Next thing I knew, it was not only growing…
It has buds! It’s first flowers since 2012!
Despite several years of near death, the Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’ has come back to life and after such a cold winter.
Not only is it doing so much better and going to flower, it has this weird stem of a different color. I am debating whether or not to remove it and see if it will offset more stems this color. Well, maybe I better not bother it since it is doing so well.
It is very good to see the Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’ doing so well.
The star-shaped yellow flowers are very interesting.
Strange how much bigger the leaves grow on the stems that did not flower…
Still doing well and looking good despite the extreme heat. I have been watering every few days if we don’t have rain. Sometimes I don’t have time to water all the plants and there have been times it has been over a week before the Sedum gets watered. It doesn’t bother them one bit…
I intended to remove the lighter colored stem to see if I could get it to produce a clump of its own. But, time has gone by and I didn’t get it done. I don’t think it would be a good idea to do it now when cooler temps and decreasing day length could be a problem. Hopefully, it will return like this next spring and I will have another chance.
Well, we made it through the winter although somewhat blushed. It will soon regain its variegated color and start growing. Hopefully, it will spread more and the stem with the different color of leaves will also multiply.
The Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’ appears to be coming back better than it has for a long time.
Growing and looking good!
It even has a few buds when I took he poto on April 20.
Even the stem with more yellow has returned so maybe I can take a cutting this year.
I will continue to add more photos and progress as time goes by.
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.