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WRIGHTII   A.Gray, 1852

Synonym : Sedum listropetalum  Fröderström (s.a.)


Distribution : Southern USA (New Mexico, Texas), adjacent north eastern Mexico (Sierra Madre Oriental), partial shade, 330 - 2300 m.



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


Glabrous perennial tufted herbs with rigid erect or decumbent stems, axil of lower leaves developing rosettes, which become new plants.


Leaves alternate, elliptic or oblanceolate-oblong, broadly rounded, with minutely papillose margins, ± 9 x 4 mm, green or yellow-green.


Inflorescences : Flowering branches erect, ± 10,5 cm, inflorescences cymes with 1 - 2 monochasial branches, bracts similar to the leaves but smaller.


FIowers 4- to 7- merous, sessile or sub-sessile, with pungent musky scent, sepals basally free, elliptic or lanceolate-oblong, 4 – 7,5 x 3,5 mm, green, divergent or erect, petals free, oblanceolate-oblong, abruptly acute, with a mucronate appendage, white, 5 - 8 mm, recurved, filaments white, anthers red or yellow.


Cytology : 2n = 24, 30-33, 48, 49, 61-77, 72, 96, 120, 144.


Ray Stephenson (Sedum, Cultivated Stonecrops, 1994, p 263) :


From a thick, fleshy rootstock, sessile yellow-green succulent rosettes overwinter and elongate the following spring into erect, rigid stems of about 11 cm (4 in). Inflorescences of two-branched cymes appear in autumn and carry white, pleasantly aromatic flowers with distinct petals that open around Christmas. Petals are erect in their lower half then spreading. This stonecrop is not very commonly encountered in cultivation.


Habitat : Sedum wrightii and its subspecies are native to the Eastern Sierra Madre in Tamaulipas and Nuevo León, and to the adjacent Mexican Plateau of Coahuila and San Luis Potosí. They grow as far north as Texas and New Mexico, especially in arid areas and usually on rocky ledges from very low altitudes to above 2000 m (7000 ft). Generally the colonies are associated with semishade provided by other vegetation, or with north-facing slopes on rocks of very diverse natures.


Main points of distinction : This stonecrop has a similar habit to Sedum cockerellii, but the latter has thin, papillose leaves and stellate flowers lacking a strong smell. Upright bases of the petals of S. wrightii are very distinct. All stamens are upright, as are carpels. Anthers are red, and to find the white nectaries, petals need to be removed.


Variation : This plant is found over a wide range so is very varied in the wild. Three subspecies have been described.


Horticulture : The flowers of winter are very welcome. Leaves and bracts of the inflorescences fall and root easily, making propagation no problem. I grow plants in hanging baskets, but a dense hummock of rosettes looks good in a shallow container. All forms are very prone to rot if overwatered.



3 subspecies :

Sedum wrightii ssp. densiflorum R. T. Clausen (1981)

Sedum wrightii ssp. priscum R. T. Clausen (1979)

Sedum wrightii ssp. wrightii

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