- Family: Stonecrop Family – Crassulaceae
- Growing form: Perennial herb. Loosely tufted, forming mat-like stands.
- Height: 7–18 cm (2.8–5 in.). Stem ascending–erect, branched, often brownish red.
- Flower: Corolla regular (actinomorphic), white (sometimes reddish), approx. 0.5–1 cm (0.2–0.4 in.) broad; petals 5, approx. 3 mm (0.12 in.) long, round-tipped. Sepals 5, fused at base, fleshy, round-tipped. Stamens 10. Gynoecium separate, pistils 5. Inflorescence a quite dense, umbellate cyme.
- Leaves: Alternate, stalkless. Blade blunt-tipped, almost cylindrical, fleshy, glabrous, often reddish.
- Fruit: 5 united, many-seeded follicles.
- Habitat: Seashore rocks, walls, meadows. Also an ornamental, sometimes wild.
- Flowering time: July–August.
White stonecrop favours alkaline, calciferous soil, which can also be seen in the way it is spread. It grows mainly on the Åland Islands and also wild in other parts of Finland’s south-western archipelago and mainland, towards the north in Kustavi and towards the east in Tvärminne and Karkalinniemi in Karjalohja.
White stonecrop is a popular perennial in garden rockeries. Once it has been planted it spreads easily on its own across nearby stone surfaces and surrounding meadows. In many places the species creates stands outwith its natural habitat, and these are originally escapes from gardens. Within its natural habitat, native stands and those that have been created by people are to a certain extent impossible to differentiate from each other.
White stonecrop is a weak competitor and gives way easily in dense meadows. It thrives however on a very thin layer of soil that would not be enough for other plants to grow on. Fleshy, water-storing leaves help plants like white stonecrop survive long periods of drought. In sun-baked areas white stonecrop can be easy to spot: its leaves are covered in a protective reddish pigment and the whole plant looks brownish red, which is in start contrast to its white flowers. The species’ flowering shoots are sparsely leaved, but flowerless parts are very densely leaved.
Spanish Stonecrop & Least Stonecrop
Sedum hispanicum & Sedum lydium
White stonecrop looks quite like Spanish stonecrop, an annual, sometimes a biennial herb that used to be cultivated a lot and which, despite its name, is native to south-eastern Europe. It also grows in many places in old gardens and has gone wild around them. Also a biennial herb, quite popular in Finnsih gardens, least stonecrop resembles white stonecrop and sometimes escapes to cliffs near garden.