Angelina Sedum

'Angelina' stonecrop (Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’).  Photo by S. Hamilton, courtesy UTIA. Download image. 

UT Gardens' January 2015 Plant of the Month:
‘Angelina’ stonecrop

Submitted by Susan Hamilton, Director of the University of Tennessee Gardens

Frigid fall and winter temperatures are challenging not only for man and beast but also for plants. As I prepared to write this article, I realized that many of my favorite flowering specimens like camellia, cornelian cherry dogwood, witchhazel, and Japanese flowering apricot are holding tightly to their flower buds preparing to bloom when the weather is well beyond bitter temperatures. So this month’s plant was chosen for its beautiful foliage color rather than its bloom. It’s not a tree or shrub, either, but rather a beautiful, enduring herbaceous groundcover — sedum.

This selection of sedum, in my opinion, is one that every garden has to have: ‘Angelina’ stonecrop, botanically known as Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’.  Winter is the best time of the year for this particular evergreen stonecrop. Its bright lime-green to yellow-gold foliage, which is attractive during the growing season, turns a beautiful amber to almost orange color in the fall through winter months. Our frigid temperature dips only intensify the foliage color of this durable groundcover. What’s more, it is an easy plant to grow. Drought and neglect don’t trouble this perennial. In fact, it will flourish in soils of low or moderate fertility as long as they are well drained, in sun or partial shade. It also happily embraces our Tennessee heat and humidity.

Vigorous and dependable, Angelina stonecrop will grow about a foot in width in a season with a height no taller than 2 to 4 inches. Its golden, yellow-green needle-like, evergreen foliage produces upright yellow flowers that grow 4 to 6 inches tall in early summer. Plants will spread and form a mat over time. Space starter plants 8 to 12 inches apart for massing as a ground cover.

This sedum is great for edging a sunny perennial garden, and it loves cascading over the edge of containers and retaining walls and trailing over rock and stone outcroppings in a xeric garden. In fact, its species name, rupestre, means “rock loving” in reference to the mountainous native habit of plants of this species. I think the versatile foliage color of Angelina is a great compliment to the soft blues, pinks and greens of other plants and is especially wonderful for highlighting dark-leaved plants.

Angelina sedum may be divided or pruned at any time and it can easily be propagated by literally just laying pieces of the foliage and stems on top of the ground or barely covering them with soil. Also, it’s “deer proof,” which is another reason to love this plant.

The University of Tennessee Gardens located in Knoxville, Crossville and Jackson are part of the UT Institute of Agriculture.
Designated as the official botanical garden for the State of Tennessee, the gardens’ mission is to foster appreciation, education and stewardship of plants through garden displays, educational programs and research trials. The gardens are open during all seasons and free to the public except during designated special events. For more information see



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