This perennial herb is a member of the Crassulaceae (stonecrop) family and is native from Illinois eastward to Connecticut and southward to North Carolina westward to Louisiana. Those plants found outside of the southern and central Appalachian Mountains have been transported from that, native region.
While this plant is not considered a succulent, it looks very much like one. It grows to a maximum height of 18 inches and does best in hardiness zones 6 and 7. Since Chattanooga is located in zone 7, the Allegheny stonecrop will do well here. The Allegheny stonecrop has many petals and stamens (in multiples of 5 – therefore a dicot) thus contributing to its “fuzzy” or “wooly” appearance.
The Allegheny stonecrop grows best in dry conditions with full to partial sun in poor to stony soils. It blooms with pink and, occasionally white, star-shaped flowers from August through September.
The Allegheny stonecrop can be used as an accent plant in the garden and also located in a rock garden.
This plant attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.
Most plants have leaves that are either opposite one another or are alternate in their orientation with their stem. The Allegheny stonecrop can have either alternate or opposite leaf position.
Handling this plant can cause mild skin irritation. Gloves should be used for anyone who is susceptible to skin problems or who has eczema.
The Allegheny stonecrop does well in poor soils and can handle drought conditions.
The Allegheny stonecrop is grown and available in the arboretum of the Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center.
About the Author
Charlie Belin is a retired professor and biological oceanographer. He taught five courses in the University of Georgia system for many years from his home base in Savannah, Georgia.
Charlie loves hiking at Reflection Riding, teaching children about the ecology of the area, and interacting with the Reflection Riding staff. They are GREAT!
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