Rhodiola rosea L.
Aaron's Rod, Arctic Root, Golden Root, King's Crown, Orpin Rose, Rose Root, Rosewort
Rhodiola scopolii, Sedum rhodiola, Sedum rosea
Rhodiola rosea is a succulent plant with flowering stems with pale green leaves, often with reddish tips, growing from a short, erect or spreading rootstock with scalelike leaves. The flowering stems are smooth, pale green, sometimes glaucous, and grow up to 16 inches (40 cm) tall and 0.25 inches (0.6 cm) in diameter. Leaves are ovate to obovate or oblong with margins nearly entire to apically with few small teeth. They are up to 2 inches (5 cm) long and 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) wide. This plant is dioecious, having separate female and male plants.
Flowers are usually 4-merous, with pale yellow to greenish-yellow petals, sometimes red at the tips, and appear in dense, many-flowered terminal clusters in summer. The flower clusters are up to 2.6 inches (6.5 cm) in diameter and have 25 to 70 flowers.
The native range of Rhodiola rosea is northern, central, and southern Europe (westwards to the Pyrenees, southwards to southern Bulgaria), Russia (Ural, Siberia, Sakhalin, Kuriles), Mongolia, northern China, Korea, Japan, and North America (northern United States and Canada, and Greenland).
USDA hardiness zones 2a to 9b: from −50 °F (−45.6 °C) to 30 °F (−1.1 °C).
How to Grow and Care
When growing Sedums, keep in mind that these plants need very little attention or care. They will thrive in conditions many other plants thrive in but do just as well in less hospitable areas. They are ideal for that part of your yard that gets too much sun or too little water to grow anything else. A common name for Sedum is Stonecrop because many gardeners joke that only stones need less care and live longer.
Sedum is easily planted. Simply laying the plant on the ground where you want it to grow is usually enough to get it started for shorter varieties. They will send out roots from wherever the stem is touching the ground and root itself. If you want to ensure that the plant will start there, add a very thin covering of soil over the plant. You can break off one of the stems for taller varieties and push it into the ground where you want to grow it. The stem will root very easily, and a new plant will be established in a season or two.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Sedum.
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