Sedum spathulifolium 'Cape Blanco'
Pronounced: SEE-dum spath-ew-li-FOE-lee-um
Sunset zones: All.
USDA zones: 5-9.
4 inches (10 cm).
12 inches (30 cm). Flowering period:
Late spring to early summer. Flowering attributes:
Star-shaped, yellow flowers in tight clusters. Leaf attributes:
Rosette of fleshy green leaves covered with a silvery-white waxy powder, giving it a silvery appearance. Light:
Full sun to light shade. Soil:
Any type well-drained soil. Propagation Methods:
Short stem pieces root readily in garden soil.
Divide in spring. Pruning Methods:
Rainy Side Notes
There are so many handsome stonecrops in the nursery trade; it is often hard to choose just one. If I were to choose only one ground covering sedum, it would have to be our Oregon native, Sedum spathulifolium ‘Cape Blanco’ (Pronounced: SEE-dum spath-ew-li-FOE-lee-um), one of the most well-known stonecrops in cultivation. Being a native makes it a perfect choice for our maritime climate. The handsome rosettes of fleshy green leaves are covered with a silvery-white waxy powder, its silvery appearance sets off basalt rock in perfect contrast. The yellow flowers are nice enough, but the foliage is so outstanding that I would rather not have the flowers detract from their wonderful silvery rosettes. As soon as the flowers fade, I prune out the flowering stems so the foliage comes to the forefront again.
For beginner gardeners, this is a beautiful and easy ground cover to grow provided it is given well-drained soil. The sedum is drought tolerant and appears to be deer resistant; however, it is edible to the human species. You can use the succulent foliage in soups or even as a stir-fry. To serve this to your family or guests should get everyone talking about the strange new vegetable on the table; hopefully without an "Eww" comment.
If you choose to add a sedum species to your diet, try them in the morning before the CAM (Crassulacean Acid Metabolism) processing of CO2 builds acid content in the foliage. This process adds an acid/peppery taste that by late afternoon/evening might make the sedums unpalatable. Caution, eating too many of them can cause an upset stomach.
The Royal Horticultural Society bestowed our native sedum with the Award of Garden Merit. I hope to see this become a Great Plant Pick in the future. For beginner gardeners, this is a handsome and easy-to-grow ground cover.
I grow this little native in nooks and crannies along rock walls and edges of pavers (where there is little to no foot traffic). I appreciate it best cascading down my rock walls–the dark basalt stone shows off the silvery-gray succulent leaves, beautifully.
Photographed in author's garden.