1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Sedum
SEDUM, in botany, a genus of the natural order Crassulaceae, containing about 120 species, natives chiefly of the north temperate and frigid regions, and mostly perennial herbs with succulent leaves of varied form, but never compound. The white or yellow, rarely, pink or blue, flowers are usually small and grouped in cymes. They have a calyx of fine sepals, as many petals, usually ten stamens and five distinct carpels, which have as many glands at their base and ripen into as many dry seed-pods. Several species are British, including some with tuberous roots and large leaves (Telephium), and others of smaller size, chiefly found on rocks, walls and dry banks; S. acre is stonecrop (see fig. 1), well, known also in gardens, a variety of which, aureum, is in cultivation with golden-yellow tips to the leaves and shoots. Many others are cultivated for the beauty of their foliage or flowers, and many are remarkable for their vitality under adverse circumstances. They succeed on rockwork, old walls or as border plants; some, e.g. S. Lydium, a native of Asia Minor, are excellent for carpet bedding. S. spectabile, 1 to 1½ ft., with pink flowers in great cymose heads, is a fine plant for the borders, and worthy also of pot-culture for greenhouse decoration. S. Sieboldi and its variegated form, from Japan, are often grown in hanging pots or baskets in cottage windows. Sedums are very closely allied to Sempervivums (see Houseleek).