This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “Garden Gems” series – 45 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region and that add sparkle to drought-tolerant landscapes.
Jelly bean plant
Size: 6 to 8 inches tall and wide; plant spreads as ends break off and root.
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Bloom season: Sprays of yellow flowers in spring.
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade.
Pruning needs: Tip prune to encourage branching from the base.
Water needs: Low to medium; once established, deep water every other week.
Snapshot: Native to Mexico, this sprawling succulent goes by two cute nicknames: Jelly bean plant or pork and beans. Its shiny, bright green leaves resemble glossy jelly beans. Those plump leaves turn an attractive reddish color in full sun, which makes them look like another kind of bean. But don’t eat them; the leaves can be toxic. In spring, sprays of starry yellow flowers attract beneficial insects. This sedum makes an attractive ground cover or border in the water-wise garden.
For more on “Garden Gems,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.