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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: Hylotelephiums prefer full sun. They tolerate light to partial shade in hot summer climates but will produce weak, floppy growth when grown in too much shade or overly rich soils.

Soil: These succulents do not need rich soil, but they do need excellent drainage. Choose a commercial potting mix for succulents, or make one yourself.

Hardiness: Hylotelephium spectabile can withstand temperatures as low as -40 to 30 °F (-40 to -1.1 °C), USDA hardiness zones 3a to 9b.

Watering: Hylotelephiums are drought-tolerant once established. The best way to water a Hylotelephium 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 plants when they outgrow their current pot by moving them out to a larger container to hold the plant better.

Propagation: Hylotelephiums can be grown from seeds, division, or stem cuttings.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Hylotelephium.

Toxicity of Hylotelephium spectabile

Hylotelephium plants can be mildly toxic to humans and animals.

Cultivars and Hybrids of Hylotelephium spectabile


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