Plant DetailShow Menu

Chinese Sedum Sedum tetractinum

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
SEE-dum teh-TRAK-tih-num
Description

Sedum is a genus of succulent, herbaceous, evergreen perennials with fleshy, flat or rounded leaves depending on the species. In general, the plant is upright and spreads along the ground. The genus has over 300 species, though many have been moved to the genus Hylotelephium. The genus name comes from the Latin word sedeo meaning to sit in reference to the habit of many of the sedum species to sit and sprawl over rocks.

Sedum tetractinum, or Chinese Sedum, is a small plant, native to China, that matures to 3 inches in height with a foot wide spread. Chinese Sedum is a mat-forming plant and, like many of its genus, it is often used as ground cover and as a lawn substitute in small areas. It is an attractive plant with four-parted white or pale pink flowers and round, flat, green leaves that tend to fall off easily; however, the fallen leaves can be used to propagate new plants. Some references describe this plant as mildly toxic if ingested, while others do not. In any event, stems and leaves may be eaten raw when very young and tender. As the stems and leaves age, but before the plants flower, the edible parts may still be eaten if they are briefly cooked. The sap can irritate the skin of some people and the leaves, eaten in quantity, can cause stomach upsets.

In nature, Chinese Sedum is often found in moist forests and natural areas. Plant 12 inches apart in a site with full sun in well-drained soil. It will tolerate partial shade, seldom needs watering, and will grow in moist soils with good drainage. The plant tolerates shade and moist soils better than most other sedums as well as drought and heat, rocky and poor soils. It establishes itself quickly, but may do less well in cold temperatures.

Diseases, Insect Pests, and Other Plant Problems:

No serious diseases or insect problems, except for occasional slugs and snails. Avoid over watering or wet or poorly drained conditions.

 

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Houseplants, Succulents, and Cacti", a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.   

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Containers at Pitt County Arboretum
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Coral Reef'
    Foliage to 3” tall but spreads to 12” wide. Blooms on stems 4-5” tall.
  • 'Lavenderlei'
'Coral Reef', 'Lavenderlei'
Tags:
#evergreen#houseplant#succulent#interiorscape#fall interest#cpp#herb garden culinary#children's garden#playground plant#groundcover#pollinator plant#bird friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Coral Reef'
    Foliage to 3” tall but spreads to 12” wide. Blooms on stems 4-5” tall.
  • 'Lavenderlei'
'Coral Reef', 'Lavenderlei'
Tags:
#evergreen#houseplant#succulent#interiorscape#fall interest#cpp#herb garden culinary#children's garden#playground plant#groundcover#pollinator plant#bird friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Sedum
    Species:
    tetractinum
    Family:
    Crassulaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Leaf Cutting
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southeastern China
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Textural
    Edibility:
    The stems and leaves, when very young and tender, may be eaten raw. Later, until they flower, they may be briefly cooked. When ingested in large quantities, can cause stomach upset.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Succulent
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Creeping
    Dense
    Prostrate
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Very Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    White or pale pink flower clusters that blossom in July and August.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Fleshy
    Smooth
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Flat, round green foliage form a spreading mat. Turns reddish-bronze in the fall.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Description:
    Creeping stems root at the nodes.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Recreational Play Area
    Rock Wall
    Slope/Bank
    Landscape Theme:
    Children's Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Erosion
    Poor Soil
    Rabbits