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STEFCO Stefanoff, 1946

Synonyms :

Oreosedum stefco  (Stefanov) Grulich (1984)

Sedum steftscho  Stojanov & Stefanoff (1948)


Distribution : Former southern Yugoslavia, south western Bulgaria, northern Greece, dry stony or rocky places in mountains, usually on serpentine, 500 - 1750 m, flowering June to July.



Description (according to 't Hart & Bleij in IHSP, 2003) :


Dwarf perennial herbs, glabrous, rhizome decumbent, branching and plants caespitose with 1 - 3 or numerous sterile branches.


Leaves alternate, 4 - 5 x 1,5 mm, elongate-ovoid, cylindrical, acuminate, bright pink to reddish.


Inflorescences : Flowering branches (6-) 7 - 10 cm, inflorescences terminal fairly dense cymes with ± 3 branches.


Flowers 4-merous, shortly pedicellate, petals 4 - 5 mm, pale pink, lanceolate, acute, suberect to stellately spreading, stamens shorter than the petals.


Cytology : 2n = 14


The spelling of the specific epithet (vs. 'steftscho') is in dispute (Springate 2000).



Ray Stephenson (Sedum, Cultivated Stonecrops, 1994, p 113) :


Sedum stefco appears to be yet another variation on the S. album theme, but it is distinct and a very worthwhile carpet-forming plant (Leaf shapes, fig. 2 o). For much of the year its foliage is pink-red and its upright stems crimson-red. The few pink-white flowers are produced in late summer. It is still very rare in cultivation, but should become more common in the near future.


Habitat : This species hails from southwestern Bulgaria.


Main points of distinction : The constantly 4-partite, pinkish flowers on short inflorescences are the best means of positive identification, and the kyphocarpic nature of the flower immediately separates Sedum stefco from any of the S. album complex, which vegetatively it most resembles.


Variation : Kept in shade, the leaves can revert to green.


Horticulture : Sedum stefco is not as hardy as one would expect in winter, so in extreme areas it is wise to take cuttings in autumn and pot them up in a cold frame or greenhouse. This is a splendid, bright subject for raised stone trough or rock garden. It is slow enough for the alpine house, but may become too lush and green if kept there permanently.

See also : Ray Stephenson : Sedum stefco - another rare european stonecrop that is a denizen of wet places / ancora una borracina rar che vive nei luoghi umidi.

Photos Ray Stephenson

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