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Sedum ternatum (Woodland Stonecrop)


Scientific Name

Sedum ternatum Michx.

Common Names

Woodland Stonecrop, Wild Stonecrop, Whorled Stonecrop, Three-leaved Stonecrop


Sedum deficiens, Sedum portulacoides

Scientific Classification

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


Sedum ternatum is a small succulent plant that grows up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall, spreading by creeping stems which root at the nodes. The stems break away and die in winter, leaving newly rooted plants separated from the mother plant. Leaves are small, fleshy, rounded, up 0.4 inches (1 cm) long, and appear in whorls of 3. Clusters of white flowers with purplish stamens appear on erect stems above the foliage in spring. Flowers are white, star-shaped, and up to 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) across.


USDA hardiness zones 4a to 9b: from −30 °F (−34.4 °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 that many other plants thrive in but will 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. For shorter varieties, simply laying the plant on the ground where you want it to grow is usually enough to get the plant started there. They will send out roots from wherever the stem is touching the ground and root itself. If you would like to ensure further that the plant will start there, you can 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 would like 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.


Sedum ternatum is native to the eastern United States.


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