Sedum spathufolium 'Purpureum'

Mealy Stonecrop, with added panache

This is one plant that I wish I had got to know much sooner; luckily, I got a small piece in a succulent swap, and I've admired it ever since.

Sedum spathufolium 'Purpureum'

Although I've never seen this plant bloom, I'm pretty sure that like its cousins, the flowers will be golden yellow, on short stems held just over the foliage.

The mealy pruinose that is present on some of the other varieties, Sedum spathufolium 'Capo Blanco' for instance is not as thick on the purple one.  That's fine though - it just allows the lovely mauve to pink blush to show through. 

Sedum spathufolium 'Purpureum'

The changes that happen over the season are interesting to watch; if the weather is cooler, in the fall for instance, the pink and purple tones are deeper and visitors just can't leave it alone.

Watch out though - too much handling can damage the dusty coating, which is just unsightly and doesn't harm the plant itself.

Although slow growing, it can withstand a few cuttings being pinched on a fairly regular basis. 

Growing out of a crack in a granite boulder

Abi who lives in Alaska sent this spectacular image of a lovely species growing in a crack in a granite boulder.

As for the name, sometimes it is listed as purpureum, other times 'Purpureum'.  There doesn't seem to be a consensus on the correct format.  Either way, this is a truly pretty, extremely tough plant, whatever you call it.

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