Plant of the Month for March 2011

Sedum cauticola; photo by Todd Boland
Sedum cauticola

Description and general information

Sedum cauticola is also known as Hylotelephium cauticolum. It is native to Hokkaido, Japan. This mounding species has partially prostrate stems that reach 15-20 cm. The blue-green, succulent leaves are somewhat rounded with shallowly toothed margins. In late summer, through fall, the stems are terminated by a flattened cluster of numerous, star-like, pink flowers. The cultivar 'Lidakense' is more popular than the species, mainly due to its purple-gray foliage and purple-pink flowers. In winter, this species dies back to a cluster of tiny overwintering rosettes. It is rated hardy to zone 4.

Cultivation

Like the majority of Sedum, this species requires full sun and well-drained soils. Neutral to alkaline soil is best. It is very drought-tolerant. Sedum cauticola is ideal for screes and alpine troughs.

Bloom period

September through October

Propagation

This species is easily propagated by seed, cuttings and division.

Seed

The seed is very fine and should be surface sown on a well-drained media. No stratification is required.

Division

Division is best done early in the season but can be done anytime in the growing season. Plants are easily pulled apart.

Cuttings

Mid-summer cuttings root with abandon. No hormones are required. If moist soil can be maintained outside, then cuttings can be directly rooted in the garden. Otherwise, root them in a loose, well-drained mix such as perlite, sand and a little peat/soil.