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Sedum

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Sedum is a large genus of flowering plants in the family Crassulaceae, members of which are commonly known as stonecrops. The genus has been described as containing up to 600 species<ref>Hideaki Ohba. The taxonomic status of Sedum telephium and its allied species (Crassulaceae). Shokubutsu-gaku-zasshi March 1977, Volume 90, Issue 1, pp 41-56</ref> updated to 470.<ref name=FOC>Template:Citation</ref> They are leaf succulents found primarily in the Northern Hemisphere, but extending into the southern hemisphere in Africa and South America.<ref name=FOC/> The plants vary from annual and creeping herbs to shrubs. The plants have water-storing leaves. The flowers usually have five petals, seldom four or six. There are typically twice as many stamens as petals.

Various species formerly classified as Sedum are now in the segregate genera Hylotelephium and Rhodiola.

Well-known European species of Sedum are Sedum acre, Sedum album, Sedum dasyphyllum, Sedum reflexum (also known as Sedum rupestre) and Sedum hispanicum.

Taxonomy

Sedum demonstrates a wide variation in chromosome numbers, and polyploidy is common. Chromosome number is an important taxonomic feature. ('t Hart 1985) Linnaeus originally described 16 species of European Sedum.<ref>H. 't Hart and C. E. Jarvis. Typification of Linnaeus's Names for European Species of Sedum subgen. Sedum (Crassulaceae) Taxon Vol. 42, No. 2 (May, 1993), pp. 399-410</ref> There are now thought to be approximately 55 European species.<ref>H. 't Hart. Chromosome Numbers in Sedum (Crassulaceae) from Greece. Willdenowia Bd. 15, H. 1 (Jul. 30, 1985), pp. 115-135</ref>

Species

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Formerly placed here

Hylotelephium telephium ssp. maximum, formerly placed in Sedum

Now in Dudleya:

Now in Hylotelephium:

Now in Rhodiola:

Ecology

Sedum species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Grey Chi. In particular, Sedum spathulifolium is the host plant of the endangered San Bruno elfin butterfly of San Mateo County, California.Template:Citation needed Sedum lanceolatum is the host plant of the more common Parnassius smintheus found in the Rocky Mountains.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> As well as Sedum spathulifolium, many other species of Sedum serve the environmental role of host plants for butterflies. For example, the butterfly Callophrys xami uses several species of Sedum, such as Sedum allantoides, for suitable host plants.<ref name="field guide to butterfly">Template:Cite book</ref><ref name="ziegler butterflies">Template:Cite journal</ref>

Uses

Ornamental

Many sedums are cultivated as garden plants, due to their interesting and attractive appearance and hardiness. The various species differ in their requirements; some are cold-hardy but do not tolerate heat, some require heat but do not tolerate cold.

Numerous hybrid cultivars have been developed, of which the following have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:-

As food

Yellow stonecrop flowers

The leaves of most stonecrops are edible,<ref>Plants of Coastal British Columbia, including Washington, Oregon, & Alaska, 2004, Jim Pojar and Andy MacKinnon, p. 157</ref> excepting Sedum rubrotinctum, although toxicity has also been reported in some other species.<ref>http://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/all/sedum-spp/</ref>

Sedum reflexum, known as "prickmadam", "stone orpine", or "crooked yellow stonecrop", is occasionally used as a salad leaf or herb in Europe, including the United Kingdom.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> It has a slightly astringent sour taste.

Sedum divergens, known as "spreading stonecrop", was eaten by First Nations people in Northwest British Columbia. The plant is used as a salad herb by the Haida and the Nisga'a people. It is common in the Nass Valley of British Columbia.<ref>Plants of Coastal British Columbia, including Washington, Oregon, & Alaska, 2004, Jim Pojar and Andy MacKinnon, p. 156</ref>

Biting Stonecrop (Sedum acre) contains high quantities of piperidine alkaloids (namely (+)-sedridine, (−)-sedamine, sedinone and isopelletierine), which give it a sharp, peppery, acrid taste and make it somewhat toxic.

Roofing

Sedum can be used to provide a roof covering in green roofs,<ref name="roof">Template:Cite journal</ref> where they are preferred to grasses.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref> Ford's Dearborn Truck Plant's living roof has Template:Convert of sedum<ref>http://www.greenroofs.com/projects/ford-motor-companys-river-rouge-truck-plant/</ref>. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars plant in Goodwood, England, has a Template:Convert roof complex covered in Sedum, the largest in the United Kingdom.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> Nintendo of America's roof is covered in some Template:Convert of Sedum.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> The Javits Center in New York City is covered with Template:Convert of Sedum. <ref>Template:Cite journal</ref>

References

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External links

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