xGraptosedum ‘Vera Higgins’
Graptopetalum paraguayense x Sedum stahlii?
(often misspelled G. paraguayensis)
grap-toh-PET-al-um par-uh-gway-EN-see (say) x SEE-dum STAHL-ee-eye
I bought this plant from Lowe’s in Greenville, Mississippi on August 25, 2012. I was living at the mansion in Leland at the time and had started plant collecting. The label on the pot said xGraptoveria ‘Alpenglow’/xGraptosedum ‘Vera Higgins’. That was my first experience with two different names and cultivars on the same label.
This plant did pretty well even though it had an identity crisis. I was having my own crisis at the time the above photo was taken. I had sold the mansion to a group who were planning to remodel it and turn it into a bed and breakfast. My dad asked me to move back to the family farm in mid-Missouri so I had to make a hard decision. I gave away over 200 potted plants but took most of my succulents, Alocasia, and a few other plants I couldn’t part with.
<<<<NOW IN MISSOURI>>>>
We survived the 8-9 hour drive in 30-degree temperatures all the way from Leland, Mississippi to the farm in mid-Missouri. It was dark when we arrived and there was a lot of snow on the ground. A friend of mine, Thomas Hitchcock from Greenville, had helped me move. We hurriedly moved the plants into the basement because I had no idea what I was going to do with them. Surprisingly, most of the plants made it through perfectly fine and most of them stayed in the basement the remainder of the winter.
I had put several of the succulents, including the xGraptosedum ‘Bronze’ in the kitchen windowsill.
My first blog, The Mystical Mansion and Garden, was about my time and experiences, etc., while I was living at the mansion in Mississippi. Since I was in Missouri, I had to start a new blog, the first Belmont Rooster. I bought a used iMac and began doing better research on the plants I had experience with.
I became acquainted with an amazing Crassulaceae expert, Margrit Bischofberger, who agreed to take a look at all my plants in the Crassulaceae family for proper ID. I sent her photos and the names on the labels of MANY plants. She promptly made the appropriate corrections. Her website is the International Crassulaceae Network (see link below). She is an older lady and the last several emails I sent to her have remained unanswered. She sent photos of her greenhouse and said “for your eyes only”. My jaw dropped!
She told me that this plant was not a xGraptoveria but a xGraptosedum and its correct name is xGraptosedum ‘Bronze’-provided this is the plant you have in mind”. Then she provided THIS link.
According to some of the information I found in 2013, the “official name” of xGraptosedum ‘Vera Higgins’ is actually xGraptosedum ‘Bronze’. Sometimes the “originator” names it officially and when they come to the US, the name gets changed. Although the origin is unknown, it was named as a Sedum hybrid by Marjorie Shields of New Zealand in the National Cactus & Succulent Journal in 1978. Other websites say they are two completely different cultivars.
The name xGraptosedum ‘Vera Higgins’ was named to honor Vera Higgins (1892-1968), a British botanical artist, author, translator, and fellow of the Linnean Society of London. She was the recipient of the Royal Horticultural Society Victoria Medal of Honour in 1946. She was the first editor of The Cactus Journal of the Cactus & Succulent Society of Great Britain from 1931 thru 1939 when World War II forced the Society to close down. During the war, she was the editor of the Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society. Her last book was Crassula’s in Cultivation, written in 1964.
There is even one website online now that says “Graptoveria ‘Alpenglow’ aka. ‘Vera Higgins’.” GEEZ!
Someone, somewhere, due to mislabeling, these two cultivars got messed up. Now even the Altman Plants website changed their labels to read Graptosedum ‘Alpenglow’/‘Vera Higgins’ when their label on the plant when I bought it in 2012 said “Graptoveria ‘Alpenglow’/Graptosedum ‘Vera Higgins’.” GEEZ!
Zones: USDA Zones 8b-11 (15-40° F)
Size: Around 3-4” tall
Light: Sun to part shade
Soil: Fast-draining mix
Water: Average during growing period, sparse in winter
Flowers: Normally late spring through early summer
Propagation: Leaf cuttings
THE PARENTS OF XGRAPTOSEDUM ‘BRONZE’ AND ‘VERA HIGGINS’:
xGraptosedum G.D. Rowley is a correct and accepted scientific name for this intergeneric hybrid. It was named and described by Gordon Douglas Rowley in Name That Succulent in 1980.
Most websites spell the species name incorrectly as Graptopetalum paraguayensis. Graptopetalum paraguayense (N.E.Br.) E. Walther is the correct and accepted scientific name for this species. It was named and described as such by Eric Walther in Cactus and Succulent Journal in 1938. It was first named Cotyledon paraguayensis by Nicholas Edward Brown in Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information (Royal Gardens, Kew) in 1914.
Plants of the World Online lists 18 accepted species of Graptopetalum. The genus was named and described by Joseph Nelson Rose in Contributions from the United States National Herbarium in 1911.
Sedum stahlii Solms is the correct and accepted scientific name for the other parent. It was named and described by Hermann Maximilian Carl Ludwig Friedrich zu Solms-Laubach in Samereien des Botanischen Gartens der Universität Strassburg in 1900. SUCH LONG NAMES!
As of January 28, 2018, Plants of the World Online currently lists 357 accepted species of Sedum and lists no infraspecific names. The genus was named and described by Carl von Linnaeus in Species Plantarum in 1753. The 2013 version of The Plant named 392 accepted species plus another 29 accepted infraspecific names. It also said there were a total of 655 synonyms and 492 names still unresolved (in 2013) including species and infraspecific names. Plants of the World Online is still uploading data so their numbers may change.
I guess it really doesn’t matter which cultivar this plant really is but saying it is a xGraptoveria is completely wrong. Maybe xGraptosedum ‘Bronze’ and ‘Vera Higgins’ are the same marketed under different names, or maybe they were created and named by two different sources. I have no idea and I have found no information online to say which came first and who created either one. It is a mystery so I can give no definite answer as to which name is correct. Mrs. Bischofberger said xGraptosedum ‘Bronze’ so that is what I started calling my plant.
I really liked my xGraptosedum ‘Bronze’ but I gave it up in late summer 2014. Now I have to find another one. They are cold hardy in USDA zones 8b or 9-11 or down to 15 or 25 degrees (depending on where you look), they are not frost tolerant. They do well in sun or shade although to much shade makes them stretch. More light also brings out the best color. Although some websites say they grow to 12″, I think that is a slight exaggeration, Probably more like 6-8 inches. They produce yellow flowers in the spring and summer. As with most cactus succulents, they need a very fast absorbing and draining potting mix. 2 parts of potting soil with 1 part grit (chicken grit) and 1 part pumice or perlite. Pumice seems to be more preferred by many collectors now.
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