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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, spreading succulent plant up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall. It spreads 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. The leaves are small, rounded, fleshy, succulent-like, up up 0.4 inch (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. The flowers are white, star-shaped and up to 0.5 inch (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 this 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, due to the fact that 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 normally 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 further ensure that the plant will start there, you can add a very thin covering of soil over the plant.

For taller varieties, you can break off one of the stems 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 eastern United States.


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