Habit: a beautiful evergreen herb with star-shaped flowers and succulent, greyish-green to reddish foliage. This species has distinctly spatulate leaves, meaning they are very narrow bellow and wider at the tip; this characteristic originated the plant’s scientific name “spathulifolium”. The basal leaves are larger, but thinner than the stem leaves, which form pretty rosettes. Fleshy stems arise from the rosettes, growing along the ground at first, and then curving upwards at the extremities. The attractive flowers are arranged in a flat-topped cluster; 5 cream-colored petals form each flower.
Ecology: found in cliffs, rocky outcrops, coastal bluffs, typically in coarse soils, at low to mid elevations. Broad-leaved stonecrop is native from southern British Columbia to California, and from the Pacific Coast through the Columbia River Gorge and western Cascades.
Growing conditions: favors full sun to partial shade, and moist, well-drained soils. It tolerates dry soil as well. This little plant adds a splash of color to a gravelly or rocky landscape. It can be planted into cracks on a wall or in stone crevices along a pathway in the garden.
This Sedum species has strong ornamental value, and it is the most widely grown of the Pacific Northwest native sedums. The plant is also known as “livelong” because its lovely foliage remains green for a long time after being harvested.