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Products > Sedum kimnachii
Sedum kimnachii - Lesser Mexican Stonecrop
Image of Sedum kimnachii
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Crassulaceae (Stonecrops)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: [S. aoikon, S. decumbens, S. confusum, Hort.]
Height: <1 foot
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 0-10° F
Sedum kimnachii (Lesser Mexican Stonecrop) - A matt forming evergreen succulent groundcover to 5 to 10 inches tall that spreads for several feet on trailing stems holding fleshy oval glossy medium to yellow-green leaves held mostly in small open rosettes at the branch tips but with new stems covering older branches. The star shaped bright yellow flowers appear in abundance in early spring in our climate and often continue on into summer. Plant in a decently well drained soil in shade with very little to an occasional watering, or in full sun where it needs a bit more irrigation and also get a pink tinge to the leaf margins. Plant growth speeds up when given more regular irrigation. It is reported by others to be quite cold hardy, tolerating temperatures to 0°F and useful in USDA Zones 7a and above but we never get anywhere near cold enough to verify this. This is a very useful and attractive groundcover for a small areas or as a crevice accent plant that looks good year round and is attractive to both people and pollinating insects. This plant has circulated widely for many years as a horticultural form of Sedum confusum and was first found in a California nursery in 1931. It has been noted as similar to this species and also to Sedum praealetum ssp. parvifolium, but lower growing. In the September 1941 Journal of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America (V.13 N.9) Ethel Rush compared this plant to one she thought matched the true Sedum confusum in an article titled "Sedum confusum, Hesley, Rediscovered", noting that the plant then circulating about and being grown as Sedum confusum was not the one so described by William Hemsley in 1878. In the May 1946 issue of this same journal (V.18 N.5), Cornell University taxonomist Robert T. Clausen responded to Ethel Rush's comments without identifying what this plant was but noting that the plant Rush believed to be the true Sedum confusum was actually Sedum luteoviride. In 1975 Robert Clausen described this mysterious Sedum confusum like plant as a new species of Sedum, known only in cultivation, as Sedum decumbens in his Sedum of North America North of the Mexican Plateau. This was a fitting name for this low growing plant as it was from the Latin word 'decumbere' meaning "‘to lie down" or to "recline" and is commonly used to describe creeping plants with upright tips. This name however was considered to be a later homonym of a plant from Estonia that had been described in 1823. The name Sedum clausenii was proposed but it turned out this name also was associated with a another plant previously described by the Mexican botanist Emmanuel Pérez-Calix in 1998, so the Russian botanist Vyacheslav Vyacheslavovich Byalt described it in 1999 as Sedum kimnachii. This description was in Kew Bulletin Vol. 54, No. 2 in an article titled "A New Name for Sedum decumbens R.T. Clausen (Crassulaceae)". Byalt noted that this name honored Myron Kimnach, then then editor of the journal of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America and "a great expert in Crassulaceae and Cactaceae of the American Flora." Myron Kimnach was also the long serving director of the Huntington Botanic Gardens. This plant is still most commonly sold in nurseries as Sedum confusum, which is a larger more upright plant from the highlands of central Mexico and, though the type locality of this lower growing plant has never been determined, it is assumed that Sedum kimnachii also came from this same general area. It and Sedum confusum share the same chromosome number, so the former may actually just be a smaller form of the latter. In Hendrik 't Hart and Bert Bleij's treatment of the species in the Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants they list Sedum kimnachii as the valid species name and note it still mostly cultivated under the illegitimate name Sedum decumbens, but in California we note that this fairly common plant is mostly sold as Sedum confusum.  The information about Sedum kimnachii displayed on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources we consider reliable. We will also relate those observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments we receive from others and welcome hearing from anyone who has additional information, particularly when they share cultural information that would aid others in growing it.