Plant of the Week
Sedum cockerellii range map. USDA PLANTS Database.
Close-up of Cockerell’s stonecrop flowers. Photo by Charlie McDonald.
Cockerell’s stonecrop along a hiking trail on the Sandia Mountains Wilderness east of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Photo by Charlie McDonald.
Cockerell’s Stonecrop (Sedum cockerellii)
By Charlie McDonald
Cockerell’s stonecrop is in the stonecrop family (Crassulaceae), which has about 1,500 species worldwide distributed mostly in the temperate regions of both hemispheres. The genus Sedum has 30 native species in the United States plus 18 others that have been introduced. Almost every part of the country has at least one native stonecrop included in its flora.
Cockerell’s stonecrop is a succulent perennial that grows to about 6 inches tall. It has flattened linear succulent leaves and white to pinkish flowers. It blooms from June to September depending on elevation. Plants grow in rocky often shady places in the mountains of Arizona, New Mexico, and western Texas at elevations of 7,000-11,500 feet.
Many sedums, or their close relatives, are popular garden plants or houseplants. Cockerell’s stonecrop is sometimes grown in rock gardens, but it is too small to make much of a display. Native plant nurseries often sell various species of stonecrops.
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