Any ideas on what this is?

I’m adding another rental property and this one has a long row of some plant along a stone wall. This wall is the best spot to put in a planting (out of the way and will have great sun exposure once a few big trees are removed). But, it looks like someone else had the same idea (probably past renters). I’m trying to figure out what is planted there to decide if I should try to keep it, move it, or get rid of it.

Here is a pic from last week- it looks like there are small shoots ready to come up from the ground.

From Google Streetview (probably a few years ago, so it may or may not be the same plant):

Any ideas on what this is? I know one of the past tenants was Asian (Fillipino, I think), so that could be a hint on the plants origins.

Probable plan (not important to the above question, but in case you are interested):

  • roto-tilling the whole area (about 100’, running along the stone wall)
  • mix in composted leaves
  • plant an alternating row of large and small
  • large spaced every 10’, with a small bush in the middle
  • large will mostly be low maintenance: Jujube, persimmon, and fig
  • Will also add a couple apricots, hoping that the micro climate there will be better than my house (where they keep dying after 2-3 years)
  • The small plants will mostly be black currants, though I’ll also transplant a few blueberries from my yard that are poorly located (dry hillside) and have done little in almost 10 years
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You’re looking at sedum I think. Possibly “Brilliant” or “Autumn Joy” or some similar cultivar.
(Trying to identify the cultivar is a guessing game, without summertime closeups, but sedum it is.)


It is definitely sedum, which reproduces really easily from just shoving some cuttings or even just leaves in the ground. Its succulent nature prevents it from drying out while it creates new roots. You may want to just check on killing sedum before you till it in case that just multiplies it. Perhaps some landscape fabric in addition to your plan?


Sedum loves full sun, so giving it partial shade or full shade from big husky shrubs or trees and it likely would decline over time. (There are exceptions with some shade-loving smaller sedum).

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Thanks for the ID!

I did a bit of reading and it seemed to say that sedum comes up in the spring, rather than December. Does that mean it has just been a bit warm this year and they are getting an early start?

I read that most sedum is edible and good for salads, but that a few are not. I guess I’ll need to wait for next year to find out if this is one of them.

I’m not opposed to adding the fabric toward the end, just before the mulch layer. I’ll also bring over a shovel today and see how hard it is to just dig up. Some of the articles say it is fairly shallowly rooted.

It would probably look good around the mailbox at my house- maybe I’ll transplant some. The tulips which used to surround it have dwindled to 1-2 after the better part of a decade.

Actually, I’m planning to take out some big trees to get more sun for my planting. So, at least initially, it will be more sun than before, rather than less.

BobVance, my initial guess of “Brilliant” is close enough. If you want to Google for it’s edibleness. I haven’t tried eating it…even though I do ocasionally eat a few other wild and/or flowering plants. (From poke to cress to dandelions to chewing wintergreen or spicebush.)
(Nasturtiums, marigolds petals, pansies…you get the idea.)

Sedum, for those that like it, is a very low-care flower. Only the need to remove weeds and such once in awhile. Transplants easily. Flowers mid to late summer…and the flower heads hang on awhile. (The fact the ones in photo have not tells me it was clipped or that cultivar doesn’t have the stiff stems of “Autumn Joy”.). (And … just because the little buds are sticking through the soil doesn’t mean much…if you have peonies, I bet they have a little red nub sticking up already. And daffodils may be up a little. This won’t hurt them. And it doesn’t mean they are ‘early’ this year.)

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I went over today and on closer examination, there was a clump every foot or so. And since the Sedum covered about half the 100 foot wall, there are ~50 clumps. I transplanted 10 of them to around/behind my mailbox. Now I need to figure out where to put the rest.

Here’s what each clump looks like once dug up.

As you can see in the pic, I didn’t get all the roots. Hopefully I got enough to make far fewer re-sprout next spring. I suspect that the bigger head-ache will be the 10’ section of mint. I spent a long time trying to get all the mint roots out, as I know how much it likes to spread.

Planting close to where there is currently a large maple is going to be tough. Lots of big roots. I’m going to have to use either (or both) an ax or a pruning blade on a sawzall. But it will have to wait a while. The next 45+ degree day (I have very little body fat and hate the cold…) is 10 days out according to the long range forecast.


:slight_smile: You could take the clumps, divide into 1/2 or 1/3 and pot the smaller clumps…and by next summer have 60 that you could get $6 apiece for at a farmer’s market?


Sounds like more work than I’d like :slight_smile:

Especially since I don’t know the actual variety, which would likely help with marketing. I’ll see if there is anyone locally who wants them. If there are some left after family and friends, I may give Craigslist a try.

It’s probably Autumn Joy, definitely that species. Autumn Joy and it’s slightly newer sister Autumn Fire are SUPER common. You can literally rip a branch off and throw it on the ground to make a new plant.

You’re looking at the dormant buds that will grow in spring, this years growth has already been cleared away.

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