Golden Stonecrop

Japanese Golden Sedum;
or, Golden Makino Stonecrop


"Some cameo'd head aloof,
With ringlets heavy-hung,
Like yellow stonecrop comely grown around a castle roof."

-Louise Imogen Guiney
(1861-1920)

   

I skipped obtaining this sedum for quite some while, even though it caught my eye at many nurseries. One expects sedums to be utterly care-free, but this one looks so delicate & has been reported to be only semi-hardy.

It was a letter of praise for this succulent that came to me from a fan of the Garden website that finally induced me to grab a pot of it when next I saw it offered. The enthusiastic letter said, among other things, that while planting a tiny pot of 'Ogon,' a few pieces broke off & were left where they fell, so that in a very short time there were unexpectedly two locations with 'Ogon' slowly spreading.

We obtained a nice little clump of it in January (2004). The photo is from early March. It is located on a garden ledge where it does not get bright sun & where it gets only a little moisture. In our zone it can do well in a much sunnier locations than we found for ours, although inland or further south, it might seriously need a bit of protection especially from afternoon summer sun.

The Japanese cultivar name means "Golden." It is the yellowest sedum leaf I have ever seen, with tiny fleshy leaves round & small as buttons off a doll's blouse. It is rarely taller than two or three inches, though it might clump up as high as four inches eventually.

It is suitable only for zones seven through nine. Although it is evergreen it has not proven to be strongly so & quite a bit of it vanishes in winter.

Late spring or early summer it has little yellow five-point flowers with orange tips to the stamins. Though grown primarily for the succulent leaf color, these flowers are also quite thrilling, with the stamins slightly fluffy-looking.

   



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