Sedum spp.

(Question)

i submited a photo of a succulent that you identified as a trailing jade. Please note that the id is incorrect and that the plant I submitted looks nothing like a trailing jade. The closest I have come with the identification is sedum sarmentosum / surculosum.
I submit my plant again, in hopes that someone here does know what kind of sedum it is. Thank you!

(Answer)

I wouldn’t say that the image you posted looks ‘nothing like Trailing Jade’ (Senecio jacobsenii) but I agree that the actual plant does differ from your hanging pot plant. I also agree with you that it looks like a Sedum. There are six hundred species in the Sedum genus, so I tried to identify your plant using a dichotomous key for Sedums. From your photo I was able to identify a pointy leaf tip (more obvious on the new leaves), obovate shaped leaves (the widest part of the leaf is towards the tip, not in the centre). Your plant appears to have terminal rosettes (the leaves are arranged in a bunch at the end of the stems), with whorls of three leaves per ring of growth that emanates from the centre of each rosette. It looked like opposite leaf arrangement along the stems (the leaves come out of the stems in pairs or threes, not singularly). I noticed a tiny root coming out of one of the leaf nodes (where the leaves arise from along the stem). Its difficult to say for sure which particular species yours is without a closer leaf image and flower colour. Also, there is a vast range of feature variability, even on identical plants, when they are grown under different light and moisture conditions.

You suggested Sedum sarmentosum, or Stringy Stonecrop, which trails and has yellow flowers, but has narrow leaves which don’t form rosettes and are sessile (arise from the stems without petioles- or leaf stems), so that can’t be it. Your other suggestion, Sedum surculosum, is closer. It has unusual golden/yellow flowers (has yours flowered at all?). Sedum surculosum has a blue tinged leaf when its grown outside. Your new leaves appear glaucous (bluish) in the image. However, they come from the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, so not common in Ontario.

Given the leaf shape, terminal rosettes, whorls of three leaves and the little root at the node, I’m going for Sedum ternatum, or Woodland Sedum. It has white flowers, is native to North America and typically trails along the ground in full sun to part shade. The little roots on the stem prepare the plant for grabbing onto the soil, if a stem is snapped off or part of the plant dies. Click here for more information.

Thanks for your enquiry.