[The Stonecrop Family East of the Cascade Mts. of Oregon and Washington]

Worm-leaf Stonecrop

Sedum stenopetalum ssp. stenopetalum

Synonyms: Sedum douglasii var. douglasii, Sedum stenopetalum ssp. monanthum

Worm-leaf Stonecrop: Sedum stenopetalum ssp. stenopetalum (Synonyms: Sedum douglasii var. douglasii, Sedum stenopetalum ssp. monanthum)

The photo above shows the flowers and basal leafy offsets of worm-leaf stonecrop. Note the stems which appear partially bare, as the stem leaves often whither by flowering time. Photographed on Cabbage Hill along the old highway between Pendleton, OR and Meacham,OR.........June 25, 2008.

Rosettes of leaves of Worm-leaf Stonecrop: Sedum stenopetalum ssp. stenopetalum (Synonyms: Sedum douglasii var. douglasii, Sedum stenopetalum ssp. monanthum)The photo at right shows the basal leaves of worm-leaf stonecrop. Note the long thin leaves which are triangular in cross-section, with the flat side generally facing up.
Characteristics:

Worm-leaf stonecrop is a widespread perennial of arid or dry rocky areas with thin stems which may be erect or lax up to 20 cm in length. The herbage is generally smooth. The leaves are alternate, linear or narrowly linear-lanceolate and strongly keeled or nerved on the upper surface (See photo at right.). Many of the leaves on the stem disappear by the blooming period, giving the stems a spindly appearance. The leaves are often crooked or worm-like (hence the common name) with sharply pointed tips. Bulbil-like propagules may often be found in the axils of the persistent upper leaves.

The inflorescence is a tight cyme. The 5 petals are yellow and they range from 6-8 mm long. The sepals are lanceolate and about 2 mm long.

Sedum lanceolatum is similar in appearance and habitat, but it may be identified by its leaves which are not strongly keeled on the upper surface, which are rounder in cross-section, and with rounder tips.


Habitat:

Worm-leaf stonecrop may be found in a variety of habitats, which include rocky outcrops, rocky crevices, talus, and gravelly benches from the grasslands, sagebrush desert, ponderosa pine forest, and occasionally up into the subalpine ridges.


Range:

Worm-leaf stonecrop may be found from British Columbia south, mainly east of the Cascades, to California, and east to western Montana. It may occasionally be found on drier slopes to the west of the Cascade summit or in the Willamette Valley, and especially in the Olympic Mts.


Worm-leaf Stonecrop: Sedum stenopetalum ssp. stenopetalum (Synonyms: Sedum douglasii var. douglasii, Sedum stenopetalum ssp. monanthum) - Close-up of the flowers of Worm-leaf Stonecrop: Sedum stenopetalum ssp. stenopetalum (Synonyms: Sedum douglasii var. douglasii, Sedum stenopetalum ssp. monanthum)

Close-up photos of worm-leaf stonecrop as seen near the snow park along Grant County Road #62, Malheur National Forest........July 18, 2010.

Worm-leaf Stonecrop: Sedum stenopetalum ssp. stenopetalum (Synonyms: Sedum douglasii var. douglasii, Sedum stenopetalum ssp. monanthum)

Wormleaf stonecrop as seen in open coniferous forest about one-half mile south of the Little Spokane River near the Spokane Country Club..........June 21, 2009.

Worm-leaf Stonecrop: Sedum stenopetalum ssp. stenopetalum (Synonyms: Sedum douglasii var. douglasii, Sedum stenopetalum ssp. monanthum)

Wormleaf stonecrop as seen at Brooks Memorial State Park near Satus Pass, Washington............May 19, 2014. The leaves are somewhat triangular in cross-section although each corner is rounded..

Worm-leaf Stonecrop: Sedum stenopetalum ssp. stenopetalum (Synonyms: Sedum douglasii var. douglasii, Sedum stenopetalum ssp. monanthum) - Flowers of Worm-leaf Stonecrop: Sedum stenopetalum ssp. stenopetalum (Synonyms: Sedum douglasii var. douglasii, Sedum stenopetalum ssp. monanthum)

The photos above show worm-leaf stonecrop as seen on Blue Ridge, Malheur National Forest........June 23, 2003. The lower photo shows a typical plant with its stem leaves drying out and curling up, or falling off as the plants begin to bloom.

Basal leaf rosettes of Worm-leaf Stonecrop: Sedum stenopetalum ssp. stenopetalum (Synonyms: Sedum douglasii var. douglasii, Sedum stenopetalum ssp. monanthum)

Basal leaf rosettes showing the distinctive awl-like leaves of wormleaf stonecrop as seen in open coniferous forest about one-half mile south of the Little Spokane River near the Spokane Country Club........June 21, 2009.

Paul Slichter