We used to call them sedums (Sedum spectabile). Now, for reasons best known to botanical taxonomists, these common garden succulents have been re-named Hylotelephium spectabile. Talk about a horticultural tongue-twister.
They are late summer bloomers of the stone crop family with flat umbrellas of tiny flowers, on the cusp of opening in the header photo. (The fallen petals belong to some neighbouring phlox). Once they are flowering, the bees and other pollinators will come in swarms for their end-of-season stoke-up on nectar. They are VERY IMPORTANT bee fodder.
That’s one good reason to grow them. Another is that they are exceedingly drought tolerant. A clump on an abandoned plot at the allotment has survived all through the four months of heat and drought, while anyway occupying an arid, rain-shadowed spot under a goat willow, and without any attention whatsoever. While the stems are looking a touch pallid, it is still preparing to put on a floral display. I’m thinking I might repatriate it chez Farrell, that’s if I can excavate it from the concrete soil in which it is presently subsisting.
And the third reason for growing sedums is that they have a certain architectural value in the garden – both before, during, and after flowering. They come in a range of colours through the pink to burgundy spectrum. There are also white ones, and some with variegated foliage.
With some thoughtful planting they can indeed be spectabile, limit the need for watering in dry weather, and keep the bees well fed at summer’s end.
43 thoughts on “A1 Plant For Bee Forage ~ Shame About The New Name”
Love sedums! They’re not a natural in Bristol’s heavy clay soil, but I have a couple in pots and you’re right, they’re so hardy you can almost ignore them. I have the one in your picture but also a Sea Star one that looks as though it has lots of starfish wriggling around on the end of the stems! I shall happily ignore the new name – why do they insist in doing that? Lovely pics, Tish
Or why be quite so complicated about it. Think I’ll just stick to sedums. Can’t imagine many people would know what a hylotelephium is. Sounds like a spare part for an electricity pylon or a cell phone mast.
Haha! Very true. They tried to do this a few years ago with chrysanthemums, renaming them dendranthemum. Everyone I know still calls them chrysanths 🙂 And sedum is a prettier name anyway.
oh no – will never get my tongue around Hylotelephium – thank goodness the spectabile part remains – as I age and dry out myself have become very fond of stonecrops, sempervivums and succulents.
Hm. Now I know why have recently found a fondness for them too 🙂
Oh, why did they change the name….I can’t say “I sedum at that garden, you know”….. 🙄😀😀
Ha! 🙂 🙂
Just as well the bees don’t have to remember the changing names of plants; they would start worrying about whether they had the right address for dinner.
And that would be-eee so-ooo sad.
Can we call them ‘Hylo’ for short?
That sounds do-able, Ali 🙂
I’m sure I’ve see’d um in our garden. I’ll pop our later and have a squizz. Gorgeous bee shot.Love those bumbles.
Hard not to love a bumble 🙂
See’d um 😁
Oh, you caught that, did you?
Anything to help the bees.
I can just imagine the flowers opening and becoming a blanket for lots of bees.
That’s a lovely image, Isadora.
Oooh, that last is a lovely shot, Tish! 🙂 🙂 I shall carry on calling it sedum, in my contrary fashion. Such a delicate dining table for the bees.
Sedum it will be then. I like that notion of fine dining for bee-kind.
Absolutely everything Jo says!!!!
After seeing the botanical tongue twister I decided to just remember sedum, which has a remarkable flower and has so many positive aspects for insect and people alike. Great photos, Tish!
Cheers, Peter. I think everyone’s plumping for sedum, and not the other thing 🙂
So many plants are having a name change and it has taken me this long to remember the ones I do know! It will remain a sedum or stonecrop to me. I only have the creeping ones, which flower earlier, but I wouldn’t mind a couple of these larger varieties if I can find some space!
They’re pretty polite and don’t push 🙂
I like that in a plant 🙂
I struggle as it is to remember names that have been around a while if they change there’s absolutely no hope for me!! Think I need to come back as. Bee, names are irrelevant then!
I know what you mean on the remembering of plant names. I’m sure future reincarnations will be delighted to meet Becky Bee.
I think I’d make a fab 🐝 – buzz buzz!
Difficult it is – thank you for some news here. I will stick to the old name though!
Wait a minute. Sedum is a what? I bet everyone will STILL call them sedum.
I think you’re right!
by any name they are lovely. Just ask the bee!
Well put 🙂
Sounds like a horticultural version of ‘justify your existence’ … but even if it’s not called a rose, it still looks as sweet. 🙂
One of my favorite plants. I love how it darkens from pink to burgundy in the fall. And yes, the bees love it.
These look like small bees to me? Are these your common bees?
This is one of our smaller varieties of solitary bumble bees, a bit over a centimetre long. We have many different sorts, some twice the size, and some a bit smaller. And then there are honey bees, which don’t seem so plentiful these days.
I can’t live in a place without sedum. I will keep using their former name as a “common name.”
Sedum they will be then 🙂