Hylotelephium maximum


Hylotelephium maximum (Grand Stonecrop)

Hylotelephium maximum (Grand Stonecrop), also known as Hylotelephium telephium subsp. maximum, is a giant stonecrop that produces clusters…

Hylotelephium maximum

(L.) Holub


Hylotelephium caucasicum (Grossh.) H.Ohba

Hylotelephium jullianum (Boreau) Grulich

Hylotelephium telephium maximum (L.) H.Ohba

Hylotelephium telephium ruprechtii (Jalas) H.Ohba

Sedum caucasicum (Grossh.) Boriss.

Sedum haematodes Mill.

Sedum maximum (L.) Suter

Sedum maximum caucasicum Grossh.

Sedum ruprechtii (Jalas) Omelczuk

Sedum stepposum Boiss.

Sedum telephium maximum (L.) Krock.

Sedum telephium maximum L.

Sedum telephium ruprechtii Jalas

Common Name:

General Information

Known Hazards

Botanical References




Medicinal Rating
Height0.50 m
PollinatorsBees, Lepidoptera
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Edible Uses


Other Uses


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Last update on 2019-08-24: Now containing 8457 plants.

Useful Temperate Plants Database 2016 by Ken Fern, web interface by Ajna Fern with help from Richard Morris.
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  • 1 Taxonomy
    • 1.1 Etymology and names
      • 1.1.1 Telephium
      • 1.1.2 Common names
    • 1.2 Subdivision
  • 2 Distribution and habitat
  • 3 Ecology
  • 4 Uses
  • 5 Gallery
  • 6 Notes
  • 7 References
  • 8 Bibliography
    • 8.1 Books
    • 8.2 Articles
    • 8.3 Websites

The plant was known to botanists, including Dioscorides ( Διοσκουρίδης , 40 AD – 90 AD) in his De Materia Medica (Greek: Περὶ ὕλης ἰατρικῆς ) as Telephion (Greek: Τηλεφιον ). [1] [2] Pliny, Gerard and Parkinson were among many later authors to describe Telephium. It was first formally described by Linnaeus in 1753, [3] as one of 15 species of Sedum, Gray included it and related species as a section of the genus Sedum. [4] These species differ markedly from the rest of that genus by a distinct ovary and ovules, flowering stems, leaves, inflorescence, flower parts, colour and blooming time and chromosome number. Consequently, Ohba (1977) segregated these species into a separate genus, Hylotelephium with 28 species, specifying Hylotelephium telephium as the type species. [5] [6] [7] Subsequent molecular phylogenetic studies have confirmed that these species constitute a distinct clade, separate from the very large Sedum genus, which is paraphyletic. Sedum is widely considered to be an unnatural catch-all taxonomic grouping. [8] That clade, originally given the informal name Telephium and later Hylotelephium, was given the taxonomic rank of tribe Telephieae. [9] The name Hylotelephium telephium has been widely, but not universally adopted. [10] [11]

Etymology and names Edit

Telephium Edit

The name Telephium was thought to be named after a surgical term for an ulcer that was particularly difficult to cure. This in turn was named after King Telephus who suffered from a spear wound that would not heal (see Uses). [12] [13]

Common names Edit

Hylotelephium telephium has earned many common names in English, including orpine, livelong, life-everlasting, live-forever, [a] frog's-stomach, harping Johnny, midsummer-men, orphan John and witch's moneybags. [b] [16]

Subdivision Edit

There are several subspecies. Ohba accepted the following: [5]

  • Hylotelphium telephium subsp. fabariaKoch - West & Central Europe
  • Hylotelphium telephium subsp. maximumL. - Europe & W Asia
  • Hylotelphium telephium subsp. ruprechtiiJalas - North-east Europe
  • Hylotelphium telephium subsp. telephium - Central & East Europe, E Asia

The species is endemic from Europe to Asia, but has been widely introduced elsewhere, particularly N America. It can be found growing in fields, around hedges, hills, and on gravelly or calcareous soils. [17]

In N America, where it has been introduced, Hylotelephium telephium is considered invasive. [18]

The very young leaves can be eaten raw, and both the young leaves and firm tubers can be cooked. [19]

The plant has been used medicinally, being used by the Romans to treat wounds, and in later times to treat internal ulcers. [18] It has also been used for love-divination.

Watch the video: Hylotelephium telephium Orpine - Pruning Back Spent Flower Heads

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