Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Woodland Stonecrop - Sedum ternatum   Michaux
Members of Crassulaceae:
Members of Sedum with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Rosales » Family Crassulaceae
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DistributionThroughout the Mountains, and nearly throughout the Piedmont; does not occur in the Coastal Plain or Sandhills.

This is an Eastern species, ranging from NJ west to IA, and south to NC, central AL, and AR.
AbundanceCommon in the Mountains. Fairly common in most of the Piedmont, but common in the foothills; quite rare in the northeastern Piedmont.
HabitatThis species usually grows on rocks, but these are normally small ones embedded within mesic to rich hardwood forests. It also grows on thin soil of stream banks, bluffs, boulderfields, and other places where there are rocks and thin soil, normally in shaded conditions.
PhenologyBlooms from April to June, and fruits from May to July.
IdentificationThis is the most familiar native Sedum species, by far, especially to montane biologists. This is a decumbent to leaning herb, with the several stems about 6 inches long, and barely a few inches high. The leaves are bright green and rather thin, as compared with the very thick, fleshy, and often glaucous leaves of many other Sedum species. These leaves grow in whorls of 3, generally rounded in shape with tapering bases, about 3/4-inch long; upper stem leaves can be alternate. The flower clusters at the tips of the branches are in few-flowered cymes. Each flower is white, with 4 narrow petals, and about 2/5-inch across. Though the generally decumbent appearance is similar to that of the rare S. glaucophyllum, that species has glaucous leaves that are narrow and alternate. S. ternatum is a widespread spring wildflower, usually routinely seen on such walks in the western half of the state.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Mountain Stonecrop, Whorled Stonecrop, Wild Stonecrop, Three-leaved Stonecrop. This species goes by several widely used common names, with Woodland Stonecrop and Mountain Stonecrop nearly equal in usage on websites and in references.
State RankS5
Global RankG5
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