Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Similar pastel colors, but from a different source

with 24 comments

New Yellow Stonecrop Plants 0998

Click for greater clarity and size.

When I was wandering in the western part of my neighborhood on February 13th I was pleased to see some Sedum nuttallianum that was coming up in several places. Here’s a look straight down at an emerging colony of that diminutive succulent, which in this early stage stays cropped close to the ground. Later the plants will get a little taller and produce small but bright yellow flowers, hence the common name yellow stonecrop.

To see the places in the south-central United States where yellow stonecrop grows, you can check the USDA’s state-clickable map. To learn a little about Thomas Nuttall, for whom Sedum nuttallianum is named, you can read the Wikipedia article about him.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 6, 2014 at 6:01 AM

24 Responses

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  1. Love this up close

    acuriousgal

    March 6, 2014 at 8:28 AM

  2. Delightfully succulent.

    Steve Gingold

    March 6, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    • It’s one of the few succulents native to central Texas, so I’m glad whenever I get a chance to see this plant.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 6, 2014 at 3:47 PM

  3. Beautiful 🙂

  4. so beautiful.

    sedge808

    March 6, 2014 at 8:11 PM

  5. Wow, beautifully subtle colors, and I learned something new! 🙂

    Leah Givens

    March 7, 2014 at 12:16 AM

    • Oh, there’s so much to learn about the natural world, and it’s fun. At the same time, some of the plants that live here have become old friends.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 7, 2014 at 7:19 AM

  6. Very attractive. They look good enough to eat, thinks I, who always seems interested in food. And, on investigation, it seems that they are edible, in small quantities. Life must have been full of wonder and excitement for Mr Nuttall; so much to explore and discover.

    Gallivanta

    March 7, 2014 at 7:26 AM

    • Diminutive but not to be demeaned, says I, when it comes to these little plants. Thanks for pointing out their edibility, which I’d either forgotten or never knew. Delena Tull says in Edible and Useful Plants of Texas and the Southwest: “You can eat the fleshy leaves and stems of sedums raw, boiled, steamed, or pickled. The plants are slightly tart and crisp.” I may have to sacrifice one and find out for myself.

      As for life on the frontier, there was indeed much to wonder at and be excited by, but accounts that I’ve read show that settlers spent much of their time dealing with hardships and trying to stay alive. Infant mortality was high, as I pointed out by example in the latter part of a post in 2011:

      https://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com/2011/07/04/a-one-day-departure/

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 7, 2014 at 8:03 AM

      • Life was harsh. As I read the post on your link, I wondered if that cemetery is still there. Developers here moved/relocated graves for a housing development. The new memorial area they created is lovely, but…..

        Gallivanta

        March 8, 2014 at 6:52 AM

        • It was still there a year or so ago, but I haven’t been by recently. Next time I’m in the area I’ll check.

          Steve Schwartzman

          March 8, 2014 at 7:06 AM

  7. What an amazing plant. At first glance it reminded me of lithops. It looks rather pebbly itself, as well as growing nicely among the rocks. I do enjoy succulents – too bad this one isn’t happy along the coast. Is the pink tinge usual, or has the cold weather affected it in the same way as the prickly pear pads?

    shoreacres

    March 7, 2014 at 8:19 AM

    • I wasn’t familiar with lithops, but I recognized the Greek components in the name, which we could translate as ‘looks like stone(s).’ In the case of stonecrop, it likes to grow on flat expanses of ground, often ones that are (lime)stony, and that seems to explain why the species is common in central Texas but isn’t found near the coast. In my experience the pink tinge in this species is normal, and I’ve seen it in seasons where there hasn’t been any freezing.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 7, 2014 at 8:50 AM

  8. wonderful picture!

    absengeralois

    March 8, 2014 at 12:45 PM

  9. I really can’t get over this one. When our sedum comes out here (a long way off), I’ve got to remember to look at it really close up.

    Susan Scheid

    March 16, 2014 at 8:35 PM

    • Please let me know what you find out. When I was in the Berkshires six years ago, I saw that the Sedum available from nurseries there was quite different from the one in central Texas. That makes me think there’s lots of variation within the genus from species to species.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 16, 2014 at 9:44 PM

      • I will try and remember to do that! There does seem to be a wide variety in the nurseries–and they, in turn, have to be quite different from those that grow in the wild. (I’m only familiar with what’s in our yard & what I’ve seen in nurseries.)

        Susan Scheid

        March 17, 2014 at 10:01 AM

  10. […] Similar pastel colors, but from a different source […]


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