Now I'm expecting that many of you will recognise this (left). It's Iceplant, doing what it does best when grown en masse - getting covered in Honeybees.
This is the species that you can pick up from almost garden centre - Sedum 'Herbstfreude', or its literal translation from the German, 'Autumn Joy'. And very well it does too for hoverflies as well.
But 'Herbstfreude' is actually a hybrid, of Sedum spectabile and Sedum telephium. The former is from eastern Asia; the latter is actually a British native of hedgebanks and even sunny ancient woodlands. And if you prefer your plants a little more on the eyecatching side than the rather dowdy 'Herbstfreude', have a look at this spectabile (right) I photographed this weekend.
This is what I think of as the REAL Iceplant. Each of the individual flowers in the head open fully, and are of an intense pink. And the fleshy leaves are a spring green, rather than the greyish tone of Herbstfreude.
This spectabile is the cultivar Brilliant, and reputation has it that it, and its sister cultivar 'Iceberg' which is a glorious white, are much more attractive to butterflies than Herbstfreude.
But this is where I'd like to call on you good folk - have you any experiences to share? Which Sedums work for you?
Oh, and don't forget, I'm looking for brave souls to follow Wildlife Friendly's example and share their garden with us on the blog. Reply to this entry, and I'll get in touch - and I'm sure all our readers will be delighted!
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