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ALSINIFOLIUM Allioni, 1785

Synonyms :

Oreosedum alsinIfolium  (Allioni) Grulich (1984)

Sedum ellipticum  Miégeville (1867).


Distribution : North-western Italy (Piemont, northern Liguria)



Description (by 't Hart & Bleij in IHSP 2003) :


Fragile much-branched erect annuals, to 15 cm tall, glandular-pubescent throughout.


Leaves alternate, flat, spatulate or pseudopetiolate with an oblong or elliptic lamina, sometimes subsessile, to 15 (-20) x ± 8 mm, obtuse or rounded, green or reddish-brown.


Inflorescences usually many-flowered cymes, laxly branched, pedicels (5-) 9 (-15) mm.


FIowers 5-merous, 7 - 9 mm diameter, reflexed before anthesis, sepals broadly sessile, equal, linear-oblong to elliptic or triangular-ovate, 2 x 0,6 mm, petals basally connate for 2 - 3 mm, lobes broadly ovate to cordate, 2,5 - 3,5 x 2,5 - 3 mm, long acuminate, white, filaments white, anthers red or pink, rarely yellowish.


Cytology: 2n = 26.


Frequently described as perennial, e.g. by Pignatti (1982: 501). Closely related to the vicariant S. fragrans (Ser. AlsinIfolia). Artificial hybrids between the 2 species are sterile.


Ray Stephenson writes (Sedum, Cultivated Stonecrops, 1994, p. 137) : " Sedum fragrans is the perennial form of S. alsinIfolium, a species not in general cultivation. For many years descriptions of the latter were conflicting, as two apparently disjunct colonies had contrasting features : S. alsinIfolium from the Italian / French border is an annual calcifuge, while work by 't Hart (1983a) showed that perennial plants of the limestone districts further south, once considered synonymous, have a different chromosome count. In addition, the annual form [S. alsinifolium] has simpler inflorescences and smaller flowers with shorter tubes."


Plant in cultivation :

Flowers of S. fragrans (left) and S. alsinIfolium (right) :

Photos Ray Stephenson

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