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common name for members of the Crassulaceae (also called orpine, or hen-and-chickens, family), a family of succulent, fleshy herbs and shrubs mostly inhabiting arid regions in many parts of the world.
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a genus of plants of the family Crassulaceae. The plants include herbs and some subshrubs and shrubs. The leaves are succulent, entire, sessile, and usually alternate. The regular and bisexual flowers are commonly in corymbose inflorescences. The fruit commonly contains five follicles.
There are about 500 species of Sedum, distributed in the temperate zones of the northern hemisphere, primarily in Eurasia. A few species are encountered in southern Africa and South America. The USSR has about 55 species, growing in arid sandy regions, on rocky slopes, and on cliffs. The most common species is the orpine (S. telephium; formerly S. purpureum,) a perennial with thickened roots and with red or, occasionally, whitish flowers. The orpine grows in meadows, thickets, and clearings in pine forests; it also grows as a weed along the edges of cultivated fields. It is easily propagated with cuttings from the stems and roots.
S. acre is found on sandy soils in the European SSSR, the Caucasus, and southwestern parts of western Siberia. It is an excellent nectariferous plant, but its sap causes burning and reddening of human skin. The young shoots and leaves of the orpine, S. caucasicum, and S. album may be used in salads and for pickling. Many species of Sedum are cultivated as ornamentals for gardens, the home, and greenhouses.
REFERENCESAtlas lekarstvennykh rastenii SSSR. Moscow, 1962.
Kott, S. A. Sornye rasteniia i bor’ba s nimi, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1961.
T. V. EGOROVA