Biting Stonecrop

2018 October 20

Continuing with the plants at the Riverbend Campground on June 23, 2018, we saw significant areas covered by this low plant with a great profusion of yellow 5-petaled flowers.

These are definitely a variety of Sedum, and are most likely Biting Stonecrop, Sedum Acre.

The leaves are small and plump, and so these plants are considered succulents. They are extremely drought-hardy and grow in rocky, thin soilds, making them very popular for ground cover in rock gardens.


They are not native to North America, having been brought over from Europe. As a refreshing change, though, they are not considered invasive! It seems that while they can grow in places where pretty much nothing else other than moss or lichen can grow, they can’t compete in decent soils where other plants can take advantage of the better growing conditions and overwhelm them. So, the biting stonecrop stays put quite well in the rocks and scree and generally inhospitable areas, and doesn’t go elsewhere to cause trouble.

Getting back to where I took these pictures, that part of Canada got pretty much scraped down to bedrock by the glaciers 10,000 years ago, and so the campground had a lot of partly exposed bedrock surrounded by shallow soil. And the biting stonecrop was growing on these rocky areas where there would otherwise probably have been nothing.

As for why it is called “biting” stonecrop, apparently it has a biting, peppery flavor. But don’t try using it as a spice, it is quite toxic.

One Response
  1. Anne Bingham permalink
    October 25, 2018

    “It has been likened to the effects of curare.” (from the last link) Good to know in case I ever find my blowgun.

Comments are closed.