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Origin and Habitat: Eastern Asia, China (Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guizhou, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Sichuan and Yunnan) and Japan. Introduced and locally naturalized in eastern Europe and USA (Georgia).Whether this species is really indigenous in Japan remains doubtful, although it was originally described on the base of material from that country.
Habitat and ecology: Low mountains, rocks on grassy slopes, plains. Margins of granitic flatrocks.
- Sedum lineare Thunb.
Sedum lineare Thunb.
Syst. Veg., ed. 14 (J. A. Murray). 14 430 1784.
- Sedum lineare Thunb.
- Sedum anhuiense S.H.Fu & X.W.Wang
- Sedum lineare f. robustum Praeger
- Sedum lineare var. variegatum Praeger
- Sedum subtile Miq.
ENGLISH: Linear Stonecrop Herb, Needle stonecrop, Sea urchin, Carpet sedum, Stonecrop, Buddhanail
ARABIC ( لعربية ): حي العالم الإبري
CHINESE (中文): Fo-chia-ts'ao, 佛甲草, Fu jia cao
Description: Sedum lineare, commonly called 'needle stonecrop' or 'carpet sedum', is a mat-forming evergreen stonecrop that is said to resemble purslane (Portulaca oleracea), but with fine linear leaves in whorls of three. It soon forms mounds or carpets. The flowers are yellow. Sedums are commonly called stonecrops in reference to the fact that many of the sedum species plants are typically found in the wild growing on rocky or stony ledges. Sedum lineare is exceptionally common in its variegated form, which is invariably grown in a hanging basket.
Habit: Plants are perennial glabrous, succulent herb with bushy and semi trailing stems. It typically grows to 10-15 cm tall and 30-60 cm or more wide. The new growth on this plant is often upright and then lies down under the weight of the stems and in shade it tends to grow slightly more open and taller.
Stems: Sterile stems wiry, ascending or decumbent, branched, brittle, rooting at nodes trailing to 30 (or more) cm long, not bearing rosettes. Flowering stems ascending or pendulous, simple, 10-30 cm long.
Leaves: In whorls of 3(–4), spreading, sessile, closely packed along the stems. Blade linear to broadly oblanceolate, (7-)20-25(-30) mm long, ca. 2 mm wide, succulent, light green or pale greenish yellow not glaucous, base shortly spurred, apex subacute.
Inflorescences ( cymes): Short lax to tight just above the foliage, 10–60+-flowered, 1-2- or 3-branched, lax, 4-8 cm in diameter; branches spreading to widely ascending, sometimes 2-forked.
Bracts similar to leaves. Pedicels absent (but dichasial central flower shortly pedicellate).
Flowers: Star-shaped, unequally 5-merous, sessile to 20 mm wide with yellow petals. Sepals spreading, distinct basally, yellowish green, linear-lanceolate, unequal, 1.5-7(-11) mm long, ca. 2 mm wide, base spurless or sometimes spurred, apex obtuse. Petals spreading, distinct, yellow, lanceolate, not carinate, 4-6(-9) mm long, base slightly narrowed, apex acute or subobtuse. Stamens 10, shorter than petals, filaments yellow. Anthers dark yellow. Nectar scales broadly cuneate to subquadrangular, ca. 0.5 × 0.5-0.6 mm.Carpels divergent in fruit, distinct, yellowish green.
Blooming season: It flowers in in late spring to early summer
Fruits (follicles): Divergent, 4-5 mm, apex shortly beaked.
Chromosome number: 2n = 72.
Similar species: Some oriental species namely Sedum subtile, Sedum zentaro-tashiroi, and Sedum makinoi with similar flowers were lumped together by Fröderström, but are now treated as distinct species.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Sedum lineare group
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Forest & Kim Starr “Crassulaceae > Sedum lineare (Carpet sedum)”. Plants of Hawaii. <http://www.starrenvironmental.com>. 23 Oct. 2014.
2) San Marcos Growers contributors “Sedum lineare 'Variegatum' - Cream & Green Carpet Sedum ” San Marcos Growers <http://www.smgrowers.com>. 23 Oct. 2014.
3) Sabina George “Ornamental Plants” New India Publishing, 09/lug/2009
4) Shizhen Li, Porter Smith, George Arthur Stuart “Chinese Medicinal Herbs: A Modern Edition of a Classic Sixteenth-century Manual” Courier Dover Publications, 2003
5) Yang Xinrong “Encyclopedic Reference of Traditional Chinese Medicine” Springer Science & Business Media, 07/Apr/2003
6) Wikipedia contributors. "Sedum lineare." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 9 Mar. 2013. Web. 23 Oct. 2014.
7) Flora of China “118. Sedum lineare Thunberg in Murray” FOC Vol. 8 Page 250 <http://www.efloras.org> Web. 23 Oct. 2014.
8) Hideaki Ohba “Sedum lineare Thunberg in Murray [family CRASSULACEAE] Flora of North America” Vol 8 Magnoliophyta: Paeoniaceae to Ericaceae. Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2009.
9) Ray Stephenson “Sedum, Cultivated Stonecrops” 1994
10) “Sedum lineare” in International Crassulaceae Network <http://www.crassulaceae.ch> Web. 23 Oct. 2014.
Cultivation and Propagation: Sedum linerare is a good ground cover, excellent in the rock garden, containers between stepping stones or in wall niches. Border fronts or rock gardens. Best massed or in groups. Great scrambler in the ground if soil is well-drained, especially trained over or around a rock. Its stems grow to about 30 cm in length and it makes an excellent plant for a hanging basket. Sedums is an easily grown succulent that can tolerate sun, shade, moist soils, dry soils, but looks its best only when given adequate light levels and water, and ideally should be grown outdoors in full sun. It has been proposed as an ideal plant for the "greening" of flat-roofed buildings in Shanghai, China, due to factors such as its ability to tolerate cold and drought, little need for soil and its roots' lack of penetrating ability.
Exposure: It prefers likes a full sun position or light shade with ample airflow. Bright light is required to prevent "stretching" of Sedums ("stretching" occurs when a moderately fast growing plant such as an Sedum, is grown in dim light or over-fertilized, which causes overly lush growth that contributes to weak, pallid plants). However, when moving plants from lower light conditions into full sun, be wary of sun scorch resulting from too rapid a transition into intense summer sunlight, most easily avoided by ensuring plants are well-watered before moving them on a cloudy day.
Waterings: Sedums are able to tolerate extended dry periods and survive drought without the need for watering, but they will grow stronger if they receive adequate moisture during their growing season, but never allowing the plant to remain waterlogged (root rot sensitive). Avoid overhead watering under humid conditions, especially during winter.
Soil: It thrives in sandy to gravelly soils of moderate to low fertility. Needs good soil drainage to perform well. Sedums are shallow rooted plants, and therefore benefit from good levels of organic matter in the soil. Give it enough root space for optimum growth.
Repotting: Sedum lineare is a fast-growing plant and will generally need repotting each autumn.
Fertilization: Slow release fertilisers with a low to moderate nitrogen content incorporated into the potting mix are usually adequate for the spring and summer growing seasons of Sedums, and additional fertiliser applications would not normally be required until spring.
Ventilation: Good air movement is important for minimising pest and disease risks, and avoiding excessive humidity in cool winter conditions is important to successfully growing Sedums in the nursery environment.
Hardiness: Though not terrifically cold-hardy, it can take overnight temperatures to -20 C (limit of USDA Zone 6a) however, it grows best ina light frost-free position in the winter. Containers may be overwintered indoors in areas north of USDA Zone 6.
Pests and diseases: No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for slugs and snails. Aphids like this plant (and all flowering sedums), scale may also occur.
Uses: It is cultivated as an ornamental plant, it makes a superb container plant in frost-prone areas and can be an attractive part of rock gardens between stepping stones or in wall niches in frost-free localities.
Maintenance: As these plants tend to become leggy after a few years it is best to cut off the longer stems and new plants can be grown from the tips of these. The seed heads will remain on this spring to summer blooming plant. Removing them will not keep the plant blooming longer.
Medicinal uses: Sedum lineare is slightly poisonous but also used to clearing away heat, subduing swelling, relieving pain and detoxicating. Indication. Hepatitis swollen and sore throat, subcutaneous swelling, furuncle, jaundice, cholecystitis, and dysentery.
Warnings: Causes stomach irritation if ingested; skin irritation from sap contact.
Propagation: It is easily propagated by cuttings in the spring. When the stem becomes too tall, just cut the top branches with a piece of stem and plant it. It will soon take root, while the plant left with just the stem will soon grow new buds that can be in turn used for propagation. Time to take cuttings: April to July.
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