Ontario Weeds: Mossy stonecrop
Excerpt from Publication 505, Ontario Weeds,
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Table of Contents
- Other Names
- General Description
- Stems and Roots
- Flowers and Fruit
- Similar Species
- Related Links
Name: Mossy stonecrop, Sedum acre
Other Names: Hen-and-chickens, Stonecrop, Yellow stonecrop, orpin âcre, vermiculaire âcre
Family: Orpine Famliy (Crassulaceae)
General Description: Perennial, reproducing by seed, by creeping horizontal stems rooting at the nodes and by bits of broken stem with a few leaves which also root at the nodes and start new patches. It is distinguished by its low stature, short, thick, very succulent leaves and small, yellow flowers.
Stems & Roots: Creeping, densely
matted, with many short, semi-erect branches, 5 - 15 cm (2 - 6 in.)
high and covered with numerous, small, alternate (1 per node), overlapping,
succulent (fleshy), ovoid
Leaves: 2-10mm (1/12-2/5in.) long and round in cross-section.
Flowers & Fruit: Yellow, 8-10mm (1/3-2/5in.) 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.
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.
Similar Species: 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 (2ft) high.
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