Sedum reflexum

Botanical Name : Sedum reflexum
Family:    Crassulaceae
Genus:    Sedum
Species:S. reflexum
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Saxifragales

Synonym: Stonecrop Houseleek.

Common Names: Sedum reflexum or Sedum rupestre, also known as reflexed stonecrop, blue stonecrop, Jenny’s stonecrop and prick-madam, The Stonecrop Houseleek of the old herbalists goes now by the name of Crooked Yellow Stonecrop.

Habitat: Sedum reflexum is native to northern, central, and southwestern Europe.It grows on Walls, shingle and warm grassy places on sandy soils. Avoids acid soils.

Description:
Sedum reflexum is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.1 m (0ft 4in) by 0.3 m (1ft) with sprawling stems and stiff foliage resembling spruce branches, with softer tissue. The leaves are frequently blue-gray to gray but range to light greens and yellows; the flowers are yellow. Like most other Sedum species, it has a prostrate, spreading habit.
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It is hardy to zone (UK) 7 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, lepidoptera, self.The plant is self-fertile.

Cultivation: 
Succeeds in most soils but prefers a fertile well-drained soil. Requires a sunny position. The plant flowers best when grown in a sunny position, though it also succeeds in semi-shade. Established plants are very drought tolerant, they grow well in dry soils and can also be grown in a crevice on a wall. This species is hardy to about -15°c. A mat forming plant, it spreads rapidly and it is not suitable for the rockery. All members of this genus are said to have edible leaves, though those species, such as this one, that have yellow flowers can cause stomach upsets if they are eaten in quantity. Plants in this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow in spring in well-drained soil in a sunny position in a greenhouse. Do not allow the soil to dry out. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. If sufficient growth is made, it is possible to plant them out during the summer, otherwise keep them in a cold-frame or greenhouse for their first winter and plant them out in early summer of the following year[K]. Division is very easy and can be carried out at almost any time in the growing season, though is probably best done in spring or early summer. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summe

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Edible Uses:  
Leaves – raw or cooked. A slightly astringent sour taste makes this plant a useful addition to a green tossed salad and it can also be added to soups or used as a vegetable. Used in salads, it has a fine relish.

Medicinal Uses:
Culpepper considered that as ‘it is more frequent than the white stonecrop, flowering at the same time, it may very well supply its place.’ He goes on to tell us that the Houseleek, ‘though not given inwardly, yet is recommended by some to quench thirst in fever.’ Mixed with posset drink, 3 OZ. of the juice of this and Persicaria maculata, boiled to the consistence of a julep, are recommended to allay the heat of inflammation.

Other Uses:
Sedum reflexum is a popular ornamental plant, grown in gardens, containers, and as houseplants. It is drought-tolerant. There are named cultivars with variegated (multi-colored) leaves.

A good ground cover plant for a sunny position. The somewhat open growth habit makes it suitable for growing with larger bulbs such as some lilies.

Known Hazards:  Although not poisonous, if large quantities of this plant are eaten it can cause a stomach upset.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedum_reflexum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Sedum+reflexum
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/stonec91.html

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