Kamtschatka or Russian Stonecrop
This form of Sedum kamschaticum or Kamschatka Stonecrop was originally
variegated when I liberated the cutting from a friend, but quickly
reverted to plain green, which I find I prefer over the splashy
This plant is always attractive, with glossy toothed foliage covered
by starry golden blooms in summer. The habit is mounding and well
In fall after experiencing some cold temperatures,
especially after a dry summer, the foliage will turn an exceptional
pinky red colour before it falls off for the winter.
Depending on the weather as it goes dormant, sometimes it retains its leaves.
Ultimate size is around 50cm (16") across, and mounding to 15 to 20cm (5-6") tall. I use this extensively in green roof mixtures, but it does equally well in borders and larger containers.
As you may have guessed from the common name, this is one tough plant, reliable in cold winters with snow cover, and also in warm climates too, according to gardeners in some areas of hot summers. It's easily grown from cuttings, and in some cases may even reseed itself but it's never invasive.
Abi, who lives in Alaska, had this to say, so I stand corrected and after doing a bit more research, found a reference to the origin of this species as the Ural Mountains and Mongolia.
"Anyway - my main reason for writing is that I want to point out that Sedum
kamchaticum is NOT NATIVE to the Aleutian Islands as is stated below the link to
Sedum kamschaticum is the Russian Stonecrop, native to the Aleutian Islands -
that should be an indication of how tough this great plant is; cold hardy,
At least it is NOT native in THE ALASKAN ALEUTIANS. Perhaps
it is found on Medny (Copper Island) or Bering Island in the Kommandorski's of
Russia. The plants I have are from some stems I snagged on one of my trips to
Kamchatka back in the early 90's. They ARE amazingly hardy. I first had them
growing in a rock garden at my bookstore which was situated less than 100 feet
from the Bering Sea. The plants were regularly covered year round in sea salt
spray as well as freezing rain and SE slush and then hours later 10F Northerly
weather in the winter. Handled it all.
Seeing how hardy they were there
down at sea level - I brought some home and they have been growing nicely since
the mid 90's.
OK - back to their native habitat... I have never seen
them out here in the Aleutians-in the wild, and just double checked Eric
Hulten's Masterpiece "Flora of Alaska and Neighboring Territories" Stanford,
1968 ed. Hulten was THE Plant Geographer of the Circumpolar region. He first
went to Kamchatka in 1920 and spent 2 yrs there I believe. He subsequently
traveled almost all of the northern Circumpolar region in his long career -
including the Aleutians in 1932. He was the person who first considered the
existence of Beringia - the Bering Land Bridge, based on plant growth patterns
on both sides of the Bering Sea.
He lists only 4 Sedum spp. in
Alaska-none in the Aleutians. Sedum roseum has the most extensive coverage of
the 4 including a considerable amount of Russia as well as most of Northern
Alaska. His map shows it collected as far west on the Alaska Peninsula as False
Pass or eastern Unimak Island...
If this species has been subsequently
located in the Aleutians I would love to know which Island so I could try and
get some to grow and compare with what I already have."
Sedum Plant List