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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

This introduced perennial plant has sprawling leafy stems up to 10" long and 6" high. The fleshy stems are light green to pale purple, glabrous or glaucous, and terete (round in cross-section). The fleshy leaves are arranged in whorls of 3 at intervals along the stem. Each fleshy leaf is up to 1" long and ¼" across, elliptic to narrowly lanceolate in shape, smooth along the margins, bright green and glabrous on the upper surface, flat, and sessile. The upper stems produce one-sided corymbs of flowers; each horizontal branch of the corymb produces several upright flowers. Each flower is about ½" across, consisting of 5 yellow petals, 5 fleshy green sepals, 10 stamens, and a cluster of 5 pistils. The petals are longer than the sepals; they are both narrowly lanceolate to lanceolate. The blooming period occurs from late spring into the summer and lasts about a month. Each flower is replaced by 5 clustered follicles; each follicle is pointed at the apex and contains several seeds. The root system is fleshy and fibrous. This plant spreads by reseeding itself and by forming vegetative offsets.
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Comments

Whorled Stonecrop has beautiful flowers and foliage. This species is readily distinguished from other yellow-flowered Sedum spp. by its whorled leaves; it is more typical of a stonecrop to have alternate leaves. Leaf shape and size is often important in making an accurate identification. For example, the leaves of the commonly cultivated Sedum acre (Biting Stonecrop) are more short and terete than the leaves of Whorled Stonecrop.
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Whorled Stonecrop occasionally escapes from cultivation and has naturalized in several counties, particularly in the northeast region of Illinois (see Distribution Map). However, outside of flower gardens, it is still uncommon. Habitats include open woodlands, vacant lots, roadsides, city parks, and waste ground. Most Sedum spp. are adapted to upland rocky areas, but this stonecrop has yet to escape into this type of habitat. Whorled Stonecrop is native to Asia.
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Sedum sarmentosum Bunge:
United States (North America)
China (Asia)
South Korea (Asia)
Canada (North America)
Thailand (Asia)
Japan (Asia)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guizhou, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Zhejiang [Japan, Korea, N Thailand].
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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Herbs perennial. Sterile and flowering stems creeping and rooting at nodes toward inflorescences, slender, 10-25 cm. Leaves 3-verticillate; leaf blade oblanceolate to oblong, 1.5-2.8 × 0.3-0.7 cm, base abruptly narrowed and spurred, apex subacute. Cyme 3-5-branched, corymbiform, 5-6 cm diam., few flowered. Flowers sessile, unequally 5-merous. Sepals lanceolate to oblong, 3.5-5 mm, base spurless, apex obtuse. Petals yellow, lanceolate to oblong, 5-8 mm, apex ± long mucronate. Stamens 10, shorter than petals. Nectar scales cuneate-quadrangular, ca. 0.5 mm, apex subemarginate. Carpels divergent, oblong, 5-6 mm. Styles long. Seeds ovoid, ca. 0.5 mm. Fl. May-Jul, fr. Aug.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Sedum angustifolium Z. B. Hu & X. L. Huang; S. kouyangense H. Léveillé & Vaniot; S. sarmentosum f. majus Diels; S. sheareri S. Moore.
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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Whorled Stonecrop occasionally escapes from cultivation and has naturalized in several counties, particularly in the northeast region of Illinois (see Distribution Map). However, outside of flower gardens, it is still uncommon. Habitats include open woodlands, vacant lots, roadsides, city parks, and waste ground. Most Sedum spp. are adapted to upland rocky areas, but this stonecrop has yet to escape into this type of habitat. Whorled Stonecrop is native to Asia.
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Shady places, rocks on slopes; below 1600 m.
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Associations

Faunal Associations

Little is known about floral-faunal relationships for Sedum spp., especially when they have been introduced from abroad. Insects that feed on these plants include Aphis sedi (Sedum Aphid) and Altica foliacea (Apple Flea Beetle). According to Müller (1873/1883), the flowers of old-world Sedum spp. are visited by various bees, wasps, Syrphid flies, and Muscoid flies; these insects are attracted to the nectar or pollen. The Eastern Chipmunk has been known to feed on the fleshy roots of a native stonecrop (Sedum ternatum).
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Sedum sarmentosum

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Sedum sarmentosum

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 3
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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Management

These species are introduced in Switzerland.
  • Aeschimann, D. & C. Heitz. 2005. Synonymie-Index der Schweizer Flora und der angrenzenden Gebiete (SISF). 2te Auflage. Documenta Floristicae Helvetiae N° 2. Genève.   http://www.crsf.ch/ External link.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

Full sun to light shade, mesic to dry conditions, and a loamy or rocky soil are preferred. Like other Sedum spp., this stonecrop has a Crassula Acid Metabolism (CAM), which enables it to withstand droughty weather.
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Notes

Comments

Sedum angustifolium, in its protologue (in Z. B. Hu et al., Acta Phytotax Sin. 19: 311. 1981), was separated from S. sarmentosum primarily by having narrower leaves and a different chemical profile, but the described morphology falls within the range of the latter species as recognized here.

Sedum sarmentosum is used medicinally, as an ornamental, and sometimes as a vegetable.

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