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Arboretum Spotlight: This stonecrop will melt your heart

Worm-leaved stonecrop (Sedum stenopetalum) forms a fuzzy bright green ground cover. It’s one of 40 plants you've never heard of – but will soon learn to love. It’s a new water-wise plant series offered by the UC Davis Arboretum.
Worm-leaved stonecrop (Sedum stenopetalum) forms a fuzzy bright green ground cover. It’s one of 40 plants you've never heard of – but will soon learn to love. It’s a new water-wise plant series offered by the UC Davis Arboretum. lsterling@sacbee.com

This is part of a new weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “40 Plants You (Probably) Have Never Heard of – But Will Love,” 40 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region but hard to find.

Worm-leaved stonecrop

Sedum stenopetalum

Size: Ground cover, under 6 inches

Exposure: Full sun

Bloom season: Yellow flowers in summer

Pruning needs: Little or none; remove spent flowers to keep tidy.

Water needs: Medium water use; once established, water once a week.

Snapshot: This pretty little succulent will have you covered. It forms tiny pointed leaves that produce erect stalks of starry yellow flowers. It spreads as the stems root into the soil, forming a lush neon green carpet. A new plant for our area, it’s particularly useful to plant on “green” or “living roofs” or on vertical walls. The diminutive mat of tiny leaves makes it attractive as a container plant, mixed with other succulents, or spilling over the edge of a pot or retaining wall in a succulent bed.

▪ For more on 40 Plants, click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.

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