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Sedum ternatum (Woodland stonecrop)
Cressler, Alan

Sedum ternatum

Sedum ternatum Michx.

Woodland Stonecrop, Wild Stonecrop

Crassulaceae (Stonecrop Family)

Synonym(s): Clausenellia ternata

USDA Symbol: SETE3

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (I)

The creeping stems of this rock-loving perennial usually send up a single flowering branch, 4-8 in. high, and several shorter, leafier, non-flowering branches. The succulent, light-green leaves are arranged alternately or in whorls of three. Flowers are white with five, pointed petals and occur in a three-branched terminal clusters.

Woods Stonecrop is a member of the Stonecrop Family (family Crassulaceae), which includes succulent herbs or small shrubs, commonly with star-like flowers in branched clusters. There are about 35 genera and 1,500 species. Many are cultivated as ornamentals or succulent novelties, including Jade Tree, Stonecrops, and Air Plant. Vegetative reproduction is common in the family, and in some members little plantlets grow along the leaves, drop to the ground, and root.


From the Image Gallery

9 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Follicle
Size Notes: Up to about 8 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun


USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MO , MS , NC , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , VT , WV
Native Distribution: NY to s. MI & e.c. IA, s. to GA, TN & AR; an escape further north & east
Native Habitat: Damp, rocky woods & cliffs, especially limestone areas

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Thin, limey soils.
Conditions Comments: Once established, this prostrate, spreading ground cover needs little, if any, maintenance.


Description: Propagate by division, cuttings or seed. Because seeds are so tiny, they should be mixed with sand and sown in a protected location. Cuttings may be taken from sterile shoots at any time during the growing season. A rooting chamber is not required. Be
Seed Collection: Very small, dark-brown seeds are ready for collection 2-3 weeks after the plant flowers. Air-dry and store in sealed, refrigerated containers.
Commercially Avail: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

Status: FACU
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Longwood Gardens - Kennett Square, PA
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Sedum ternatum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Sedum ternatum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Sedum ternatum


Record Modified: 2023-02-27
Research By: TWC Staff

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