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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.



Steve Boyd & Melinda F. Denton

Perennial herb (annual, biennial, subshrub), generally from rhizomes or stout, scaly caudex, generally glabrous; rosettes 0 or open to dense. Leaf: sessile, generally alternate, generally obovate to spoon-shaped. Inflorescence: terminal, generally raceme- to panicle-like. Flower: sepals, petals generally 5, free to fused at base, sepals < petals, obtuse to long-tapered; petals erect to spreading; stamens 8 or 10, in 2 whorls, epipetalous or not; pistils 4–5, free or fused below. Fruit: free or fused at base, erect or spreading. Seed: many, elliptic, often winged at both ends.
± 450 species: temps, tropical mountains, North America, Mexico, Central America, Europe, Asia, northern and eastern Africa, Atlantic islands, Indian Ocean islands; cultivated as ornamental, green roofs. (Latin: to assuage, from healing properties of houseleek, to which Sedum was sometimes applied) Sedum roseum moved to Rhodiola.
Unabridged references: [Denton 1982 Brittonia 34:48–77]

Key to Sedum

1. Subshrub ..... S. praealtum

1' Annual to perennial herb

2. Stems densely glandular-hairy toward base ..... S. album

2' Stems glabrous, glaucous, or papillate, not glandular-hairy toward base

3. Leaves generally widest ± below middle, tapered to tip (except Sedum niveum); leaves ± = bracts (except Sedum lanceolatum)

4. Petals white, pink-streaked, fused > 1 mm; flowers 1–9; fruit erect ..... S. niveum

4' Petals yellow or white, ± free; flowers 1–44; fruit erect to spreading

5. Leaves red-scarious in age

6. Annual, biennial; leaf tip obtuse to acute; fruit 3–5 mm, spreading to strong-reflexed; stems without plantlets in place of distal leaves, flowers ..... S. radiatum

6' Perennial herb; leaf tip long-tapered; fruit 5–8 mm, ± erect; stems often with plantlets in place of distal leaves, flowers ..... S. stenopetalum

5' Leaves staying green, fleshy

7. Bracts ± elliptic to round, surfaces convex; fruit spreading ..... S. divergens

7' Bracts lanceolate, surfaces ± flat; fruit ± erect, tips outcurved ..... S. lanceolatum

3' Leaves generally widest above middle, tapered to base; leaves > bracts

8. Inflorescence generally ± 3-branched; petals long-acuminate and fruits erect, or petals acute and fruits generally outcurved

9. Petals long-acuminate, 8–13 mm, fused < 3 mm; fruit erect; outer rosette leaves = inner ..... S. oreganum

9' Petals acute, (5)7–8(10) mm, ± free; fruit generally outcurved; outer rosette leaves >> inner ..... S. spathulifolium

8' Inflorescence generally > 3-branched; petals obtuse to acute and fruits erect

10. Rosette open, internodes visible, some 3–5 mm

11. Petals rounded to obtuse; anthers yellow (red-brown); inflorescence 2–8 cm, 13–40(72)-flowered ..... S. obtusatum subsp. retusum

11' Petals acute; anthers yellow or red-brown; inflorescence 1–14 cm, (12)20–70(120)-flowered ..... S. oregonense

10' Rosette dense, internodes not visible, < 3 mm

12. Inflorescence strongly white-glaucous; rosette leaves 11–60 mm, generally > 3.5 × longer than wide; anthers generally yellow (turning red-brown)

13. Bracts 14–30 mm; rosettes 3–9 cm diam, leaves 14–60 mm, 7–16 mm wide, widest 6–9 mm below tip; petals ± pale yellow; fruit free ..... S. albomarginatum

13' Bracts 7–13 mm; rosettes 1–6 cm diam, leaves 11–35 mm, 3–9 mm wide, widest 2–3 mm below tip; petals ± cream; fruit fused at base ..... S. oblanceolatum

12' Inflorescence not or ± glaucous; rosette leaves 6–50 mm, generally < 3 × longer than wide (or anthers red-purple); anthers yellow to purple-black

14. Petals dark pink to dark red; bract surfaces convex, base cordate, not clasping ..... S. laxum subsp. eastwoodiae

14' Petals white to yellow or pink; bract surfaces flat, base obtuse to truncate, not clasping, or cordate, clasping

15. Petals white to pink, or pale yellow ..... S. laxum

16. Bract length >> width; plant 7–40 cm; rosette leaves 10–50 mm ..... subsp. laxum

16' Bract length < to > width; plant 9–24 cm; rosette leaves 9–32 mm

17. Petals pale yellow; bract base often truncate, not clasping; sepals < 1/3 petals ..... subsp. flavidum

17' Petals white to pink; bract base cordate, clasping; sepals 1/3–2/3 petals ..... subsp. heckneri

15' Petals cream or deep yellow, pink-tinged or not, red-veined or not (pale yellow or pink-white in Sedum obtusatum subsp. boreale) ..... S. obtusatum

18. Petals cream, not ± pink- or red-tinged or -veined; sepals 3.5–6 mm, acute to long-tapered ..... subsp. paradisum

18' Petals yellow, pale yellow, or white, ± pink- or red-tinged or -veined at least in age; sepals 1.8–5 mm, obtuse to acute

19. Bracts 8–15 mm; petals pale yellow or white, generally pink-tinged or -veined; inflorescence 15–38(60)-flowered ..... subsp. boreale

19' Bracts generally 4–9(13) mm; petals yellow, ± red-tinged or -veined in age; inflorescence 8–26(46)-flowered ..... subsp. obtusatum


Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
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