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Vascular Plants of California
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Sedum obtusatum

Higher Taxonomy
Family: CrassulaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to shrub [+- tree-like or climbing], fleshy. Leaf: generally simple, alternate or opposite (whorled), in dense to open, basal (or terminal) rosettes, or basal and cauline (not in rosettes), reduced on distal stem or not, often +- red. Inflorescence: generally a cyme, panicle-like, generally bracted. Flower: generally bisexual; sepals generally 3--5, generally +- free; petals generally 3--5, +- free or fused; stamens >> to = sepals, epipetalous or not; pistils generally 3--5(8), simple, fused at base or not, ovary 1-chambered, placenta 1, parietal, ovules 1--many, style 1 per pistil. Fruit: follicles, generally 3--5. Seed: 1--many, small.
Genera In Family: +- 33 genera, +- 1400 species: +- worldwide, especially dry temperate; many cultivated for ornament. Note: Water-stressed plants often +- red. Consistent terminology regarding leaves, bracts difficult; in Aeonium and Dudleya, structures in rosettes are leaves, those on peduncles are bracts, and those subtending flowers are flower bracts; thus in taxa where the inflorescence is terminal, rosette leaves may "become" bracts as stem rapidly elongates to form an inflorescence. In Sedum structures below the inflorescence are interpreted as stems and leaves, not peduncles and bracts. Seed numbers given per follicle. SCIED: Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin, Thomas J. Rosatti.
eFlora Treatment Author: Steve Boyd, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: SedumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: STONECROP
Habit: Perennial herb (annual, biennial, subshrub), rhizomes often present, stolons present or 0, sometimes from stout caudex, generally glabrous (glandular-hairy); rosettes 0 or open to dense; stolons generally leafy; stems often shedding leaves as flowering progresses; sterile shoots generally densely leafy. Leaf: fleshy, sessile, alternate or opposite (whorled), cylindrical to strongly flattened, linear to suborbicular; stem leaves ascending to reflexed; bases truncate to cordate and slightly clasping, decurrent or not; tips acute to notched. Inflorescence: terminal cymes, generally panicle-like, often head-like to flat-topped, cylindrical, or obconic, the branches sometimes raceme-like; flowers generally bracteate, the bracts like stem leaves but generally smaller. Flower: sepals, petals generally 5(4--8), sepals < petals, fused at base, blunt to acuminate; petals free or fused at base, erect to spreading; stamens generally 8 or 10, in 2 whorls, epipetalous or not; pistils (4)5(8), free or fused at base. Fruit: follicles free or fused at base, erect or spreading, style generally persisting as elongate beak, splitting along distal, inner margin. Seed: many, narrowly ellipsoid to lanceolate, ovoid, or pear-shaped, longitudinally striate or not, the surface sometimes papillate or netted, often shiny, sometimes with short narrow stalk at one or both ends, not prominently winged or adhesive.
Etymology: (Latin: to sit, referring to its low habit) Note: Sedum integrifolium (Raf.) A. Nelson (S. rosea (L.) Scop. misapplied), +- dioecious with tuberous caudex and winged seeds, moved to Rhodiola. CA reports of Sedum oreganum Nutt. from n KR based on misidentifications, but reported in s Oregon, near Siskiyou Co. border, so should be sought in n KR; keys here to Sedum patens but petals, filaments yellow, inflorescences erect in bud, rosette leaves generally shiny, rosettes 12--16 mm diam. Sedum sexangulare L. a local escape from gardens in n ScV. Sedum pinetorum Brandegee a distinct species but doubtful member of CA flora; more likely Mexican (Moran 1950 Leaflets West. Bot. 6:62--63). Structures below inflorescence interpreted here as stems, leaves, not peduncles, bracts. Individual leaves or vegetative bulblets break free, root, start new plants in some taxa. Rosette density a measure of how closely leaves packed on rosette axis and best assessed on plants in full sun; shaded or sheltered plants often have atypically loose rosettes, longer internodes. Petal tips, on freshly opened flowers, oriented 0--30 degrees from vertical called erect, 30--45 degrees from vertical called ascending, > 45 degrees called spreading. With age petals can spread more widely. In cultivation flowers sometimes have petals more widely spreading, paler than in wild populations. Sepals of most flowers elongate after flowering; descriptions give sepal lengths during flowering. Fresh petal, stamen colors given in keys. Anther, filament color often easiest to assess in flower buds, before anther dehisces; they age to darker hues, rarely can be determined on dried specimens. Herbarium collections should include leafy fertile stems, early in the flowering cycle, and note unopened anther color, angle, color of fresh petals, and what structures, if any, waxy. Color photographs of living plants from several angles often useful, as so much detail lost in challenge of preparing dried specimens.
Unabridged Note: Sedum blochmaniae Eastw., synonym of Dudleya blochmaniae. Sedum pumilum Benth., synonym of Sedella pumila. Sedum rhodiola, replacement name for Sedum rosea, misapplied in CA (see Rhodiola integrifolia). Sedum variegatum S. Watson., synonym of Dudleya variegata.
eFlora Treatment Author: Peter F. Zika, Richard E. Brainerd, Julie Kierstead, Barbara L. Wilson, Nick Otting & Steven Darington.
Reference: Zika 2014 Phytotaxa 159:111--121; Zika et al. 2018 Phytotaxa 368: 1--61
Sedum obtusatum A. Gray
Habit: Perennial herb, rhizome stout; stems, rosette leaves, inflorescences, and sepals lacking thick granular wax. Stem: 4--15 cm, glaucous, glabrous; rosettes 1--6 cm diam, dense in sunny sites, internodes generally obscured, < 3 mm. Leaf: strongly flattened, rosette leaves > stem leaves, 8--28 mm, 2--13 mm wide, obovate to oblanceolate, tip blunt or notched; stem leaves alternate, 4--14 mm, reduced on distal stem, ascending, obovate to oblanceolate or narrowly oblanceolate, often > 2× as long as wide, bases truncate, not clasping. Inflorescence: variable, head-like to cylindrical or flat-topped, 1--8 cm, 1--35-flowered. Flower: calyx lobes 3--6 mm, 29--80% as long as petals; petals 8.5--11 mm, dull to bright yellow (white), often reddish on midrib, fading yellow to white or orange, ascending, tips blunt to acute; filaments white to yellow or greenish-yellow; anthers yellow, aging brown or white. Fruit: follicles free, (5)6--8(10) mm, erect. Seed: 1--1.6 mm, pear-shaped, striate. Chromosomes: 2n=30.
Ecology: Dry outcrops, cliffs, ridgelines, sunny rocky slopes, non-serpentine substrates, often on granitics; Elevation: 1200--3700 m. Bioregional Distribution: SNH (Sierra Co., s of North Yuba River); Distribution Outside California: NV (last collected 1929). Flowering Time: Jun--Aug Note: Reports from outside SNH are misidentifications. Only known south of North Yuba River, and most populations yellow-flowered. Ratio of sepal to petal length greatly variable, and an unreliable character to separate it from S. flavidum and S. paradisum. Similar to S. paradisum subsp. subroseum, from north of North Yuba River, with white flowers fading pink.
Synonyms: Cotyledon burnhamii (Britton) Fedde; Cotyledon obtusata (A. Gray) Fedde; Cotyledon yosemitensis Fedde; Echeveria brittonii A. Nelson & J.F. Macbr.; Echeveria obtusata (A. Gray) A. Nelson & J.F. Macbr.; Gormania burnhamii Britton; Gormania hallii Britton; Gormania obtusata (A. Gray) Britton; Sedum burnhamii (Britton) A. Berger; Sedum hallii (Britton) Praeger; Sedum obtusatum subsp. obtusatum; Sedum obtusatum var. hallii (Britton) Smiley; Sedum rubroglaucum Praeger
Jepson eFlora Author: Peter F. Zika, Richard E. Brainerd, Julie Kierstead, Barbara L. Wilson, Nick Otting & Steven Darington.
Reference: Zika 2015 J Bot Res Inst Texas 9:1--5
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Sedum obtusatum

botanical illustration including Sedum obtusatum

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Citation for this treatment: Peter F. Zika, Richard E. Brainerd, Julie Kierstead, Barbara L. Wilson, Nick Otting & Steven Darington. 2022, Sedum obtusatum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, Revision 10,, accessed on April 21, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 21, 2024.

Sedum obtusatum subsp. obtusatum
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©2008 Steve Matson
Sedum obtusatum subsp. obtusatum
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©2021 Barry Rice
Sedum obtusatum subsp. obtusatum
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©2009 Barry Breckling
Sedum obtusatum subsp. obtusatum
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©2009 Barry Breckling
Sedum obtusatum subsp. obtusatum
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©2009 Keir Morse

More photos of Sedum obtusatum
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Geographic subdivisions for Sedum obtusatum:
SNH (Sierra Co., s of North Yuba River)
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
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All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).