Perennial herb 10 - 20 cm tall Stem: decumbent, branched, rooting at the nodes. The flower stems are more or less erect. Leaves: mostly opposite, stalkless or short-stalked, 1.5 - 3 cm long, 0.5 - 2 cm wide, oblong to inversely egg-shaped with a wedge-shaped base, thick, flattened, succulent. The glandular margins are shallowly blunt-toothed near the tip. Flowers: borne on a dense flat-topped inflorescence 2 - 8 cm across with compact branching. The five sepals are 4 - 4.5 mm long and oblong-lance-shaped with a blunt warty tip, while the five spreading petals are white to pink or reddish-purple, 7 - 11 mm long, and oblong to lance-shaped. Fruit: a more or less erect follicle.
Similar species: Sedum alboroseum, Sedum album, Sedum purpureum, Sedum spurium, and Sedum ternatum have white to pink or purple flowers. Sedum album is easily distinguished by having leaves that are circular in cross-section. Sedum alboroseum and S. purpureum differ by having more or less erect stems. Sedum ternatum has non-toothed leaves arranged in whorls of three and always has white petals.
Flowering: late June to early July
Habitat and ecology: Introduced from Eurasia, this species escaped from gardens into sandy cemetaries.
Occurence in the Chicago region: non-native
Etymology: Sedum comes from the Latin word sedo, meaning "to sit," referring to the manner in which some species attach to walls and rocks. Spurium means false.
Fibrous-rooted perennial with branched, creeping stems and more erect branches (or stem-tips) 1-2 dm; lvs opposite, thick, flat, obovate or obovate-oblong, cuneate to a sessile or shortly petiolar base, 1.5-3 נ0.5-2 cm, with prominently glandular margins, coarsely crenate above; infl small, compactly branched; fls mostly 5-merous; pet white to pink or reddish-purple, 8-11 mm, spreading above an erect base; frs ±erect. Native of the Caucasus, sometimes escaped from cult. July, Aug.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.