Mossy stonecrop, Sedum acre L.

Life Cycle

Reproducing by seed.

Stems

Creeping, densely matted, with many short, semi-erect branches, 5 - 15 cm high and covered with numerous, small, alternate (1 per node), overlapping, succulent (fleshy), ovoid.

Leaves

2-10mm long and round in cross-section.

Flowers and Fruit

Yellow, 8-10mm across in small clusters, each flower with 5 green sepals, 5 yellow petals, 10 stamens and 5 pistils; most of the pistils becoming pointed seedpods containing several seeds. Flowers from June to July.

Roots and Underground Structures

Creeping horizontal stems rooting at the nodes and bits of broken stem with a few new leaves which also root at the nodes and start new patches.

Habitat

Mossy stonecrop is a common lawn weed in the central part of southern Ontario and occasionally in other regions as well. It was introduced as an ornamental for rock gardens because of its ability to grow well in coarse, sandy, shallow soils low in fertility. In these situations, it can crowd out grass and become a serious lawn weed. It also occurs in gardens, roadsides and waste areas.

Distinguishing Features

It is distinguished by its low stature, short, thick, very succulent leaves and small, yellow flowers. Several other kinds of stonecrops (Sedum spp.) may escape from cultivation but are usually less common. Their flowers range from white through yellows and pinks to orange or reddish-purple; their succulent leaves may be round in cross-section or quite flat, and their stems may be up to 60cm high.


Figure #1.

Mossy stonecrop.


Figure #2.

Mossy stonecrop on lawn in July, southern Ontario.


Figure #3.

Small yellow flowers of mossy stonecrop.


Figure #4.

Yellow flower of mossy stonecrop.


Figure #5.

Short stem of mossy stonecrop with dense, succulent ovoid leaves.


Figure #6.

Mossy stonecrop.


Figure #7.

Partial creeping horizontal stem of mossy stonecrop.