[Wildflowers with 5 Petals in the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington]

The Stonecrop Family in the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington


Broad-leaf Stonecrop: Sedum spathulifolium

Members of the Stonecrop Family Found in the Columbia River Gorge:

A. Pigmy-weed, Water Pygmyweed, Water Pygmy Weed: Crassula aquatica (Synonyms: Crassula saginoides, Hydrophila vaillantii, Tillaea angustifolia var. bolanderi, Tillaea aquatica, Tillaea bolanderi, Tillaea drummondii var. bolanderi, Tillaea vaillantii, Tillaestrum aquaticum, Tillaeastrum pringlei, Tillaeastrum vaillantii) - Annuals with narrowly fleshy leaves. Floral parts number 4 with 4 stamens. Plants of mudflats and moist shorelines. Rare at the level of the Columbia River across the length of the gorge.

B. Stonecrops: The Genus Sedum - Perennials with fleshy leaves. Floral parts generally number 5, but with 10 stamens. Plants of rocky or drier soils.

1. Lanceleaf Stonecrop, Lance-leaved Stonecrop, Spearleaf Stonecrop: Sedum lanceolatum (Synonyms: Sedum lanceolatum var. lanceolatum, Sedum lanceolatum ssp. lanceolatum, Sedum lanceolatum var. nesioticum, Sedum lanceolatum ssp. nesioticum, Sedum lanceolatum var. rupicolum, Sedum rupicolum) - Sepals generally longer than 2 mm. Leaves linear to linear-lanceolate, rounded or oval in cross-section, and from 5-20 mm long. Petals 7-9 mm long. Rarely seen in the gorge, and generally on ridgetops at the eastern end of the gorge.

2. Leiberg's Stonecrop: Sedum leibergii (Synonyms: Amerosedum leibergii, Sedum borschii, Sedum divaricatum) - Sepals from 1-1.5 mm long. Petals 5-8 mm long, separated their full length. Cymes with spreading to recurved branches. Leaves spatulate to oval, widest above mid-length, 5-25 mm long, generally rounded or elliptical in cross-section. Common at all elevations at the eastern end of the gorge.

3. Oregon Stonecrop: Sedum oreganum (Synonyms: Gormania oregana, Sedum oreganum ssp. oreganum, Sedum oreganum ssp. tenue) - Sepals generally longer than 2 mm. Leaves spatulate to obovate, strongly flattened, 6-18 mm long. Leaves widest above the midlength and greenish. Petals 10-13 mm long, connected at the base for 2-3 mm, narrowly lanceolate tapering gradually to a point. Common at all elevations to the west of the Little White Salmon River.

4. Broad-leaf Stonecrop, Broad-leaved Stonecrop, Pacific Stonecrop: Sedum spathulifolium ssp. spathulifolium (Synonym: Sedum spathulifolium ssp. pruinosum) - Sepals generally longer than 2 mm. Leaves spatulate, oblanceolate or obovate, strongly flattened, 10-20 mm long. Leaves widest above the midlength and glaucous. Petals 7-10 mm long, narrowly oblong-lanceolate but tapering more abruptly to a point. Common to the west of Mosier, OR at all but the higher elevations.

5. Wormleaf Stonecrop, Worm-leaf Stonecrop: Sedum stenopetalum ssp. stenopetalum (Synonyms: Sedum douglasii var. douglasii, Sedum stenopetalum ssp. monanthum) - Sepals generally longer than 2 mm long. Leaves linear or linear-lanceolate, widest towards the base and tapering gradually to the tip, 15-25 mm long. Leaves strongly keeled, triangular in cross-section. Upper leaf axils often bearing steril, bulbil-like modified flowers. Sepals about 2 mm long. Moderately common in the middle gorge at all elevations as far east as Mosier, OR.

Paul Slichter E-mail