Black Country Bugle
PLANT OF THE WEEK
SEDUM (ICE PLANT)
The old-fashioned ice plant (Sedum spectabile) is one of the best compact perennials for bringing hordes of butterflies into your garden late in the season, when there’s often standing room only on the sedum’s slightly domed, rounded pink flower heads.
Seen in close-up, the ‘flowers’ are actually composed of hundreds of tiny individual blooms.
The traditional favourite, Autumn Joy, is still one of the most reliable and long-flowering varieties, seen in action from August well into October. But the boom in butterfly gardening has brought a surge of interest in this group of sedums, and all sorts of newer or more unusual hybrids are available.
Some have truly huge showy heads of pink flowers – ‘Strawberries and Cream’ and ‘Matrona’ are among the most striking, although they only flower until about mid September.
They all make neat, compact plants roughly 1ft 6ins high and the same across, and do best in welldrained soil in a sunny place.