Chinese Stonecrop, Chinese Sedum, Fish-Scale Sedum
Sedum tetractinum Fröd. is the correct and accepted scientific name for this species of Stonecrop. It was named and described by Harald August Fröderström in Acta Horti Gothoburgensis in 1931.
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 currently lists 550 accepted species as of June 8, 2019, when I am updating this page. These numbers have changed a lot!
A good friend a fellow plant collector, Walley Morse, gave me this nice Sedum tetractinum in the spring of 2012 while I was living at the mansion in Leland, Mississippi. I really liked its thick, round leaves. This Sedum tetractinum could be the cultivar ‘Coral Reef’, but I am not sure.
I planted it in the bed on the west side of the front porch where one of the Colocasia esculenta had been… That’s why the Colocasia came up in the Sedum.
The Sedum tetractinum did very well and spread to 24″ wide by the time the above photo was taken on July 2, 2012.
Sedum tetractinum is a groundcover-type Sedum that spreads by runners that take root at the leaf nodes. The round leaves gave way for one of its common names, Fish-Scale Sedum. The green leaves turn a burgundy color in the fall but I have no photos to show that.
I sold the mansion to a group who were going to renovate it and turn it in to the Thompson House Bed and Breakfast. Dad asked me to move back to the family farm in mid-Missouri so I put the Sedum tetractinum in a pot so I could bring it with me. I gave up around 200 pots of plants, but I quite a few with me.
As soon as temperatures permitted, I planted some of the Sedum tetractinum on each side of the gutter in the bed on the southwest corner of the house.
Zones: USDA Zones 5a-11b (-20 to 40° F)*
Size: Around 1/4-1/2” tall.
Light: Sun to part shade
Water: Average water needs.
*Many websites have different cold hardiness zones. Dave’s Garden says 4a-11 (-30 to 40° F). Maybe with mulch… Even in zone 6 you might want to give them protection.
Sedum are very good plants to grow but need well-draining soil. They do like regular watering during the growing season but are also very drought tolerant. In my experience, I have done much better with them in a raised bed so their roots will drain much better. This area on the south side of the house drains pretty well and I didn’t realize there could be a problem… Not much experience here at the time. The problem was the drainage during the winter months. Even though there is kind of a slope past the bed, I planted this Sedum behind rocks and the soil level was not elevated. So, the drainage apparently was not adequate.
The Sedum tetractinum did not flower during 2013. As you can tell in the first photo at the top of the page, they produce yellow flowers. Strangly, the Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder says they produce white to pale pink flowers but they have their wires crossed. They definitely produce yellow flowers…
I was very happy with the performance of this Sedum and how well it spread. The clump in the above photo is on the right side of the gutter in the south bed…
This photo is the clump on the left side of the gutter.
Although this Sedum overwintered during the winter of 2013-2014, it did not survive the next one. So, that was the end of my Sedum tetractinum. Maybe someday I will try it again.
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.