Synonyms: Live Long. Life Everlasting. , (French) Herbe aux charpentiers. Sedum carpathicum. Sedum fabaria. Sedum purpurascens. Hylotelephium telephium. (L.)H.Ohba.
Sedum telephium is a perennial plant, growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 0.3 m (1ft). The root-stock is large and fleshy, producing small parsnip-shaped tubers, with a whitish-grey rind, containing a considerable store of nourishment. The stalks are numerous, erect, unbranched, round and solid, generally of a reddish tint, spotted and streaked with a deeper red above. The flat, fleshy leaves, bluish-green in colour, are numerous, placed alternately on the stem at very short intervals, and coarsely toothed. The upper leaves are rounded at their bases and without foot-stalks, the lower ones taper at the base to a short stalk, being almost wedge-shaped; they are largest and closest together about the middle of the stem, where they are 1 1/2 to 3 inches long.
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The flowers are in compact heads at the top of the stems, forming a brilliant mass of crimson, in most cases, though sometimes whitish, suffused with dull purplish rose. They are spreading and acutely pointed, three times as long as the calyx. In their centre are ten conspicuous stamens, with reddish anthers, and the ovaries they surround are also reddish.
The whole plant is smooth and somewhat shiny. It flowers in July and seeds in August.
Succeeds in most soils but prefers a fertile well-drained soil that is not too dry. Tolerates poor soils. Succeeds in most soils and is tolerant of quite deep shade. Established plants are drought tolerant, they grow well in dry soils and can be grown in crevices on walls. Hardy to about -20°c. This species has pink to red flowers. All members of this genus are said to have edible leaves, though those species that have yellow flowers can cause stomach upsets if they are eaten in quantity. Polymorphic, intergrading with S. caucasicum where their ranges meet. Plants in this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits.
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 summer. Cuttings can be taken at almost any time in the growing season, though early in the season is probably best.
Edible Uses: The leaves are eaten raw or cooked. They have occasionally been used in salads. Sometimes the root is cooked and eaten as soups, stews etc
The whole plant is astringent and cytostatic. It is a popular remedy for diarrhoea, stimulates the kidneys and has a reputation in the treatment of cancer. A poultice of the crushed leaves has been used in the treatment of boils and carbuncles.
Other Uses: .The plant is noted for attracting wildlife.
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