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Biting Stonecrop

Sedum acre

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Crassulaceae (Stonecrop)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
10 centimetres tall
Beaches, gardens, meadows, roadsides, rocky places, seaside, walls, wasteland.

Yellow, 5 petals
5 bright yellow untoothed, star-shaped petals.
The leaves alternate along the stems. They are small, ovoid, pale green, succulent, evergreen, blunt-tipped leaves.
Very little fragrance, if any at all.
Other Names:
Common Stonecrop, Golden Carpet, Golden Carpet Sedum, Golden Sedum, Goldmoss Sedum, Goldmoss Stonecrop, Mossy Stonecrop, Wallpepper, Welcome-home-husband-though-never-so-drunk.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Sedum acre, also known as the "golden sedum" or "wallpepper," is a low-growing succulent plant native to Europe and Asia. It has small, bright yellow leaves and tiny, star-shaped yellow flowers that bloom in the summer. The plant is drought-tolerant and can be grown in rock gardens, as a ground cover, or in containers. It prefers well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade. Sedum acre is hardy in USDA zones 3-8.


Sedum acre, also known as Biting Stonecrop, is a small, succulent perennial plant that belongs to the family Crassulaceae. It is native to Europe, but has been introduced to other parts of the world, including North America, where it has become naturalized.

Biting Stonecrop is a low-growing plant that typically grows to a height of 5-10 cm, and spreads to form a dense mat of foliage. Its leaves are small, fleshy, and bright green, and they grow in opposite pairs along the stems. The plant produces clusters of tiny, star-shaped yellow flowers in the summer, which attract bees and other pollinators.

One of the most distinctive features of Biting Stonecrop is its ability to tolerate harsh growing conditions. It is adapted to grow in rocky or gravelly soils, and can even grow in crevices in stone walls or pavement. It is also drought-tolerant, and can survive extended periods without water. These characteristics make it a popular choice for rock gardens, dry gardens, and other low-maintenance landscaping projects.

Despite its tough and adaptable nature, Biting Stonecrop does have some limitations as a garden plant. It can be invasive in some areas, spreading rapidly and outcompeting native plant species. It also has a tendency to rot in wet soil, so it is important to ensure that it has well-draining soil and does not sit in standing water.

In terms of its medicinal properties, Biting Stonecrop has a long history of use in traditional herbal medicine. Its leaves contain a variety of bioactive compounds, including tannins, flavonoids, and alkaloids, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant effects. It has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including digestive problems, respiratory infections, and skin conditions.

Biting Stonecrop is a versatile and attractive plant that is well-suited to a variety of landscaping projects. Its ability to thrive in harsh growing conditions makes it an excellent choice for low-maintenance gardens, while its medicinal properties have made it a valued plant in traditional herbal medicine. However, it is important to be aware of its potential to become invasive and to take appropriate measures to prevent it from spreading beyond its intended area.

Some Facts about Biting Stonecrop

Here are some additional facts and tips about Biting Stonecrop:

  • Biting Stonecrop is an easy plant to propagate, as it readily forms new plants from stem cuttings or by self-seeding. This makes it a great choice for gardeners who want to expand their plant collection or fill in bare spots in their garden.

  • The name "Biting Stonecrop" comes from the plant's acrid taste, which can cause a burning sensation in the mouth if consumed in large quantities. Despite this, the plant has been used as a culinary herb in some cultures, where it is added to salads or used as a seasoning.

  • Biting Stonecrop is a great plant for attracting pollinators to the garden. Bees and other insects are drawn to the bright yellow flowers, which provide a valuable source of nectar and pollen during the summer months.

  • To ensure that Biting Stonecrop thrives in your garden, it is important to provide it with well-draining soil and plenty of sunlight. The plant prefers a pH of 6.5-7.5, so it may benefit from an application of lime if your soil is acidic.

  • In addition to its medicinal uses, Biting Stonecrop has been used in folk remedies as a cure for warts. The sap from the plant is applied to the affected area, and is said to cause the wart to gradually shrink and disappear over time.

  • If you are growing Biting Stonecrop in a container, be sure to choose a pot with good drainage and use a well-draining potting mix. Water the plant sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.

In conclusion, Biting Stonecrop is a fascinating and versatile plant that offers a range of benefits to gardeners and herbalists alike. With its bright green foliage, cheerful yellow flowers, and ability to thrive in tough conditions, it is a plant that deserves a place in any garden or herbal medicine cabinet.

Even More Facts about Biting Stonecrop...

Here are a few more paragraphs about Biting Stonecrop and its uses:

  • In addition to its medicinal properties, Biting Stonecrop has been used in landscaping to help control erosion on slopes and hillsides. Its mat-forming growth habit and ability to grow in rocky or gravelly soil make it an excellent plant for stabilizing the soil and preventing erosion.

  • Biting Stonecrop is also a popular plant for green roofs, as its shallow roots and tolerance for drought make it an ideal candidate for this type of planting. It can help to reduce stormwater runoff, improve air quality, and provide habitat for urban wildlife.

  • Biting Stonecrop has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat coughs, colds, and other respiratory ailments. The plant is believed to have a warming effect on the lungs, and its antimicrobial properties may help to fight off infection.

  • The leaves of Biting Stonecrop can be harvested and dried for use in herbal teas or tinctures. The plant is believed to have a variety of health benefits, including reducing inflammation, boosting the immune system, and improving digestion.

  • In addition to its medicinal and landscaping uses, Biting Stonecrop is also a popular plant for use in fairy gardens and miniature landscapes. Its small size and unique appearance make it a great choice for creating tiny landscapes that inspire imagination and creativity.

Overall, Biting Stonecrop is a versatile and useful plant that offers a wide range of benefits to gardeners, herbalists, and landscapers. Whether you are looking to stabilize soil, attract pollinators, or improve your health, this hardy and adaptable plant is sure to be a valuable addition to your garden or landscape.


Biting Stonecrop filmed at the following 3 locations:
  • Hutton Roof, Cumbria: 28th May 2023
  • Kentmere, Cumbria: 1st June 2023
  • Marshside, Southport, Lancashire: 4th June 2023

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Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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