Wild Stonecrop (Sedum ternatum) is Indiana’s only native Sedum. Succulents like Sedum have thickened, fleshy leaves that allow it to survive dry, harsh conditions. There are about 600 species in the genus. Some were/are used as herbs by indigenous Americans. Architects often use them in green roof design for their ability to survive the extreme microclimate on a roof.
I planted this Wild Stonecrop underneath a silver maple tree after receiving a start from a plant conference.
An American Robin used a live branch to accent its nest (just a few meters from the original plant). This photo is from Dec. 7, 2018. The leaves had not wilted by then… I assume it has rooted and looks like it will over-winter as a live plant within the nest.
There are other non-native Sedums you can plant outside, but native plant species are better adapted to our ecosystem. Their complex relationships provide more ecological function. And clearly, the plants will spread, one way or another. Why mess with millions of years of success?
To quote Dr. Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park, “Life finds a way.”
It’s going to be a great year.