The Stonecrop family is adapted for dry conditions with succulent stems and leaves. It has 1400 species split into three subfamilies – Crassuloideae (Sedums, Stonecrops and Navelwort) – Kalanchoideae (Kalanchoes, which are indoor pot plants) and Sempervivoideae (Sempervivums, also known as House Leeks).  Crassus is Latin for thick and in this family refers to the thick succulent leaves. Stonecrop refers to the fact that species are often found growing in rocky places or on stone walls. The family has a worldwide distribution in the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Africa. Kalanchoes are tropical succulents only grown indoors in Britain. Basic Flower Parts – 4 or 5 Sepals, 4 or 5 petals, 8 or 10 Stamens,

The Ice Plant Sedum spectabile is a species native to China and Korea.  Sedum spectabile ‘Autumn Joy’ is a hybrid introduced in 1952.


Navelwort Umbilicus rupestris is a common, native wild flower found in crevices of rocks and walls in west and southwest England.

Biting Stonecrop Sedum acre  is shown growing on a wall in June. It is a native wild flower that grows in dry places and walls throughout Britain.

Sempervivums, known as houseleeks are succulents native to mountainous areas from Spain to the Caucasus. The genus has 40 species. They are popular rockery plants prized for their succulent leaves rather than their flowers. This is Sempervivum ‘Apple Blossom’ , a hybrid cultivar