Variegated Orange Stonecrop, 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.
Phedimus kamtschaticus (Fisch.) ’t Hart was described by Henk ’t Hart and Urs Eggli in Evolution and Systematics of the Crassulaceae in 1995.
Although Sedum kamtschaticum has been the correct and accepted name for this species since 1841, it highly possible that it is now Phedimus kamtschaticus. Although the 2013 version of The Plant List (no longer maintained) and the new Plants of the World Online by Kew maintain Sedum kamtschaticum is the correct and accepted name, Tropicos and the USDA Plants Database, and a few other reliable sources maintain Phedimus kamtschaticus is now correct.
In an email from Margrit Bischofberger in 2013, she said,
“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.”
Margrit Bischofberger is one of the foremost Crassulaceae specialists and the editor of the International Crassulaceae Network.
Furthermore, I just checked, and Tropicos (a division of the Missouri Botanical Garden) also maintains Phedimus kamtschaticus is the accepted name.
Keep in mind, the Missouri Botanical Garden and Royal Botanic Garden-Kew were the two major organizations formerly working in cooperation on The Plant List… The Missouri Botanical Gardens has maintained Tropicos for many years while the new Plants of the World Online by Kew was started in 2017.
To my knowledge, no polygenetic testing has been done on this species to determine what it really is… The name change was not based on any testing, but a decision to break up the Sedum genus.
Tropicos and the USDA Plant Database made their decision based on the description provided by Henk ’t Hart and Urs Eggli in Evolution and Systematics of the Crassulaceae in 1995. Plants of the World Online base their decision on the description provided by Friedrich Ernst Ludwig von (Fedor Bogdanovic) Fischer and Carl Anton (Andreevič) Meyer in Index Seminum in 1841. Plants of the World Online base their opinion on a description made in 1841 instead of an agreement made my many botanists and horticulturalists to separate the genus into more defined genera.
Sometimes the earliest description is accepted, in which Sedum kamtschaticum would continue to be the accepted name. I am sure this debate is not over…
I am open-minded on this one because the Sedum genus is very large and contains many species from many parts of the world with varied needs and characteristics. A polygenetic test would be very helpful within the Sedum genus and some species may get moved to other genera
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 need bright light but maybe this variety needs more shade. It has been in the bed behind the foundation of my grandparent’s old house where it has been in full sun unless shaded by the other plants. 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. This one definitely needed 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.
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.
I will continue to ass 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.