Stonecrop Plant – Planting Stonecrop In Your Garden
By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist
The stonecrop is a succulent sedum plant that is ideal for the arid areas of the garden. Growing stonecrops is one of the easier plant projects. Read this article to learn more about stonecrop perennials.
How to Grow Autumn Joy Stonecrop
The Spruce / Letícia Almeida
Autumn Joy stonecrop—Hylotelephium telephium 'Herbstfreude' (‘Autumn Joy’)—is a popular upright variety of stonecrop, also known as sedum. It is a hybrid plant created by crossing a species of sedum (Sedum telephium) with a species of ice plant (Hylotelephium spectabile). The resulting plant features gray-green, rounded, succulent-like leaves. And it blooms in the late summer to fall with tiny, pink, star-shaped flowers that grow in clusters roughly 3 to 6 inches across on top of the plant’s stems. After they bloom, the flowers gradually change in color to a deep rose and then rust before they die when cold fall temperatures arrive. Autumn Joy stonecrop has a moderate growth rate and is best planted in the spring after the threat of frost has passed but before the hot summer temperatures kick in.
|Botanical Names||Hylotelephium telephium 'Herbstfreude' (‘Autumn Joy’), formerly Sedum telephium ‘Autumn Joy’|
|Common Names||Autumn Joy, Autumn Joy stonecrop, stonecrop, sedum, rock moss, gold chain|
|Plant Type||Herbaceous, perennial|
|Mature Size||1.5–2 ft. tall and wide|
|Soil Type||Sandy, well-drained|
|Soil pH||Acidic, neutral, alkaline|
|Bloom Time||Summer, fall|
|Flower Color||Pink, rust red|
|Hardiness Zones||3–9 (USDA)|
|Native Areas||Europe, Asia|
- 1 Description
- 2 Taxonomy
- 2.1 Subdivision
- 2.1.1 Clades
- 22.214.171.124 Subgenus Gormania
- 126.96.36.199 Subgenus Sedum
- 2.1.1 Clades
- 2.2 List of selected species
- 2.1 Subdivision
- 3 Distribution and habitat
- 4 Ecology
- 5 Uses
- 5.1 Ornamental
- 5.2 As food
- 5.3 Roofing
- 6 Gallery
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 Bibliography
- 9.1 Books and theses
- 9.2 Articles
- 9.3 Websites
- 10 External links
Sedum is a genus that includes annual, biennial, and perennial herbs. They are characterised by succulent leaves and stems.  The extent of morphological diversity and homoplasy make it impossible to characterise Sedum phenotypicaly. 
Sedum was first formally described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753, with 15 species.  Of the genera encompassed by the Crassulaceae family, Sedum is the most species rich, the most morphologically diverse and most complex taxonomically. Historically it was placed in the subfamily Sedoideae, of which it was the type genus. Of the three modern subfamilies of the Crassulaceae, based on molecular phylogenetics Sedum is placed in the subfamily Sempervivoideae. Although the genus has been greatly reduced, from about 600  to 420–470 species,  by forming up to 32 segregate genera,  it still constitutes a third of the family and is polyphyletic. 
Sedum species are found in four of six major crown clades wthin subfamily Sempervivoideae of Crassulaceae and are allocated to tribes, as follows: 
Clades containing Sedum, shown in blue
In addition at least nine other distinct genera appear to be nested within Sedum. However the number of species found outside of the first two clades (Tribe Sedeae) are only a small fraction of the whole genus. Therefore the current circumscription, which is somewhat artificial and catch-all must be considered unstable.  The relationships between the tribes of Sempervivoideae is shown in the cladogram.
There are now thought to be approximately 55 European species. Sedum demonstrates a wide variation in chromosome numbers, and polyploidy is common. Chromosome number is considered an important taxonomic feature. 
Earlier authors placed a number of Sedum species outside of these clades, such as S. spurium, S. stellatum and S. kamtschaticum (Telephium clade),  that has been segregated into Phedimus (tribe Umbiliceae).     Given the substantial taxonomic challenges presented by this highly polyphyletic genus, a number of radical solutions have been proposed for what is described as the "Sedum problem", all of which would require a substantial number of new combinations within Sempervivoideae. Nikulin and colleagues (2016) have recommended that, given the monophyly of Aeonieae and Semperviveae, species of Sedum outside of the tribe Sedeae (all in subgenus Gormania) be removed from the genus and reallocated. However this does not resolve the problem of other genera embedded within Sedum, in Sedeae.  In the largest published phylogenetic study (2020), the authors propose placing all taxa within Sedeae in genus Sedum, and transferring all other Sedum species in the remaining Sempervivoideae clades to other genera. This expanded Sedum s.l. would comprise about 755 species. 
Linnaeus originally described 15 species, characterised by pentamerous flowers, dividing them into two groups Planifolia and Teretifolia, based on leaf morphology. with 15 species, and hence bears his name as the botanical authority (L.).  By 1828, de Candolle recognized 88 species, in six informal groups.  Various attempts have been made to subdivide this large genus, in addition to segregating separate genera, including creation of informal groups, sections, series and subgenera. For an extensive history of subfamily Sedoideae, see Ohba 1978.
Gray (1821) divided the 13 species known in Britain at that time into five sections Rhodiola, Telephium, Sedum, (unnamed) and Aizoon.  In 1921 Praeger established ten sections Rhodiola, Pseudorhodiola, Giraldiina, Telephium, Aizoon, Mexicana, Seda Genuina, Sempervivoides, Epeteium and Telmissa.  This was later revised in what is the best known system, that of Berger (1930), who defined 22 subdivisions, which he called Reihe (sections or series).  Berger's sections were:
- Seda genuina
A number of these, he further subdivided.  In contrast, Fröderströmm (1935) adopted a much broader circumscription of the genus, accepting only Sedum and Pseudosedum within the Sedoideae, dividing the former into 9 sections.  Although this was followed by numerous other systems, the most widely accepted infrageneric classification following Berger, was by Ohba (1978).  Prior to this most species in Sedoideae were placed in genus Sedum.  Of these systems, it was observed "No really satisfactory basis for the division of the family into genera has yet been proposed". 
Some other authors have added other series, and combined some of the series into groups, such as sections.  In particular Sedum section Sedum is divided into series (see Clades)   More recently, two subgenera have been recognised, Gormania and Sedum. 
- Gormania: (Britton) Clausen. 110 species from Sempervivum, Aeonium and Leucosedum clades. Europe and North America.
- Sedum: 320 species from Acre clade. Temperate and subtropical zones of Northern hemisphere (Asia and the Americas). 
Subgenus Sedum has been considered as three geographically distinct, but equal sized sections: 
- S. sect. Sedum ca. 120 spp. native to Europe, Asia Minor and N. Africa, ranging from N. Africa to central Scandinavia and from Iceland to the Ural Mountains, the Caucasus and Iran.
- S. sect. AmericanaFrod.
- S. sect. AsiaticaFrod.
S. sect. Sedum includes 54 species native to Europe, which Berger classified into 27 series.