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Hylotelephium spectabile (Showy Stonecrop)


Scientific Name

Hylotelephium spectabile (Boreau) H. Ohba

Common Names

Brilliant Stonecrop, Butterfly Stonecrop, Ice Plant, Live Forever, Rabbit's Cabbage, Showy Orpine, Showy Stonecrop


Anacampseros spectabilis, Hylotelephium pseudospectabile, Hylotelephium spectabile var. angustifolium, Hylotelephium spectabile var. spectabile, Sedum pseudospectabile, Sedum spectabile, Sedum spectabile var. angustifolium, Sedum telephium var. kirinense

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Sedoideae
Tribe: Sedeae
Subtribe: Sedinae
Genus: Hylotelephium


This species is native to China and Korea.


Hylotelephium spectabile, formerly known as Sedum spectabile, is a succulent perennial that produces a cluster of erect, unbranched stems with egg-shaped leaves that have toothed margins. The stems are greenish-white and up to 28 inches (70 cm) tall. Leaves are opposite or whorled, fleshy, grey-green to blue-green, up to 5.2 inches (13 cm) long, and up to 2 inches (5 cm) wide. Flowers are star-shaped, pink with reddish-brown anthers, and appear from late summer to frost in flat terminal clusters that are up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter.

The specific epithet "spectabile" derives from the Latin "spectabilis," meaning," showy or spectacular" and refers to the flower heads.

Hylotelephium spectabile (Showy Stonecrop) aka Sedum spectabile

Photo by DenesFeri

How to Grow and Care for Hylotelephium spectabile

Light: This succulent prefers full sun. It tolerates light to partial shade in hot summer climates but will produce weak, floppy growth when grown in too much shade. Plant your H. spectabile in an area of your garden that gets 6 hours of sunlight a day.

Soil: H. spectabile does not need rich soil, but it does need excellent drainage. Choose a commercial potting mix for succulents or make one yourself.

Hardiness: This plant has a tolerance to heat and drought and is cold-hardy, making it a popular outdoor succulent. H. spectabile can withstand temperatures as low as -40 to 30 °F (-40 to -1.1 °C), USDA hardiness zones 3a to 9b.

Watering: The best way to water H. spectabile is to use the "soak and dry" method. Get the soil completely wet, and then wait until it is dry before watering again.

Fertilizing: Feed annually with a balanced fertilizer. Apply the fertilizer to the soil in spring as new growth appears, according to package directions.

Repotting: Plants in containers do require little more care than those in gardens. Repot your H. spectabile when it outgrows its current pot by moving it out to a larger pot to hold the plant better. Spring is the best time to repot this plant. Make sure the soil is dry before you begin the repotting process.

Propagation: This succulent can be grown from seeds, division, or stem cuttings. Sow seeds in spring. Dividing your H. spectabile is very easy and can be carried out at almost any time in the growing season, though it is probably best done in spring or early summer. Propagate by stem cuttings in summer.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Hylotelephium.

Toxicity of Hylotelephium spectabile

H. spectabile can be mildly toxic to humans and animals.

Cultivars and Hybrids of Hylotelephium spectabile


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