Susan Harris
All about gardening the eco-friendly way, by Susan Harris and 22 other garden writers and experts.

Am I Misidentifying this Creeping Sedum?

June 6, 2010 · 2 comments

For years now I’ve been identifying my primary lawn-replacement plant as Sedum acre – on good authority, though I’ve long go forgotten which one.   Now I’m not so sure about the authority and definitely in doubt about this plant name since I perused Margaret Roach’s web page about sedums and discovered a photo of what I surely have, with a totally different name – Sedum linare ‘Golden Teardrop’.   (It’s the 12th in her slide show.)  See, not just the wrong variety but a wholly different species.

Then some Googling around reveals these OTHER folks who seem to agree with Margaret:

But I’m not giving up yet.   I Googled Sedum acre and found:

  • The USDA (good one!)  And they have no listing at all for this so-called S. linare.
  • Jeepers Creepers sells a S. acre ‘Aureum’ but it doesn’t really look like what I grow.
  • Ditto White Flower Farm.
  • Wikipedia has an entry for S. acre but the photo’s so bad, I can’t tell.
  • A whole different bunch on  Dave’s Garden seem to be calling what I grow S. acre.
  • A Polish (I’m assuming) photographer shows off a S. acre ‘Aureum’ that’s definitely what I grow.
  • Bluestone Perennials sells something they call S. acre and it could be the one.
  • And I’ll admit that Google is notorious for combining photos with the wrong names but here’s what they show for S. acre “Aureum” – it’s all over the place.

Now I’m more confused than ever.   To get to the bottom of this conundrum I’m emailing this post to Sandy at Sandy’s Plants and to that well-known troublemaker, Margaret Roach.

{ 2 comments }

1 Margaret Roach June 6, 2010 at 9:02 pm

Didn’t mean to be a troublemaker. I only know what mine was labeled, and it seems to key out properly now that I look it up prompted by your inquiry…but I am no taxonomist, to say the least.

And I also agree that especially in flower S. acre looks very similar to S. lineare (and various other sedums!) — a massive mat of gold — and have often wondered generally speaking how the heck all these groundcover sedums can be told apart anyhow.

The foliage of S. lineare iss more lanceolate and is said in taxonomic references to be arranged in whorls of three (which my leaves are). The leaves of S. acre seem even more fine-textured and are said in the books to be triangular, blunt and overlapping, which also seems to verify my ID since my plant’s leaves don’t overlap etc.

Have you seen this detailed pdf on S. acre? My presumed S. lineare plant is much coarser texture — each leaf is as long as the diameter of a dime; note the photos here of S. acre by comparison for scale:

http://www.cpa.msu.edu/beal/plantofweek/plants/sedum_acre_20080623.pdf

Lazy S’s online catalog seems to have the closest-up photos of the so-called ‘Golden Teardrop’ that I can find for comparison. Next time I am somewhere reputable that they sell both I will bring them home and see.

Or maybe I should just send you a hunk of mine and you send me a chunk of yours and we compare? Goodness knows it wouldn’t miss a beat, being a sedum.

2 Susan Harris June 7, 2010 at 4:40 am

Wow, you’re good! Thanks for the help, the link, and teaching me some taxonomic terms I need to learn.

More will be revealed.

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