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Hylotelephium telephium sp. Wikimedia
Recommended for your garden in the south of Spain: Hylotelphium telephium

Recommended for your garden in the south of Spain: Hylotelphium telephium

The large, greenish flowerheads open out to clusters of deep pink flowers which attract pollinating insects

Denise Bush

Malaga

Friday, 28 June 2024, 14:54

Opciones para compartir

Knowledge of the plant world is ever evolving and as a result of more accurate classifications, some plants are moved from one genus to another. One of these is the ice plant, formerly part of the Sedum genus but now classified as Hylotelephium.

It still remains a member of the huge Crassulaceae family, a group of plants characterised by their thick, fleshy stems and leaves.

These leaves and stems, as well as pale, tuberous roots (like white carrots) help it to store water and therefore withstand periods of drought. In fact, Hylotelephium is extremely tough once it is established and will withstand short periods of below freezing temperatures too.

In these days of water restrictions and extended periods of drought, H. telephium sp. are a more attractive solution than planting cacti.

It forms large clumps of soft-green foliage on upright stems up to 50cm tall. The large, greenish flowerheads open out to clusters of deep pink flowers. The flat top of the blooms are perfect for pollinating insects to land on and feast on the abundant nectar contained within.

Hylotelephium is easy to grow, it's not fussy about soil as long as it is free-draining. It will tolerate full shade although full sun is preferable. It will need regular watering to get established but then needs very little maintenance. The seed heads can be removed after flowering but, if left on, they provide winter interest.

It can be propagated by division in spring or autumn or by softwood cuttings in summer. In ideal conditions it may self seed and sometimes, axillary buds on the stems fall off and will root.

There are varieties available with purple stems and leaves and red flowers.

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