Sedum pulchellum (Widow's Cross)

Sedum pulchellum (Widow's Cross)

Scientific Name

Sedum pulchellum Michx.

Common Names

Widow's Cross, Widowscross, Sea Star


Aectyson sagittatum, Chetyson vigilmontis, Sedum pulchrum, Sedum vigilimontis

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Sedoideae
Tribe: Sedeae
Subtribe: Sedinae
Genus: Sedum


Sedum pulchellum is an annual or evergreen perennial with ascending to spreading, pink to light green stems that typically rise to 12 inches (30 cm) tall. The leaves are pale green to lime green, cylindrical, up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long, and densely arranged along the stem. The stems are topped by a horizontally branched cyme of tiny, pink-white flowers that bloom in late spring.

Photo by Wayne Fagerlund

How to Grow and Care

When growing Sedum, keep in mind that Sedum plants need very little attention or care. They will thrive in conditions that many other plants thrive in, but will do just as well in less hospitable areas. They are ideal for that part of your yard that gets too much sun or too little water to grow anything else. A common name for Sedum is Stonecrop because many gardeners joke that only stones need less care and live longer.

Sedum is easily planted. For shorter varieties, simply laying the plant on the ground where you want it to grow is usually enough to get the Sedum plant started there. They will send out roots from wherever the stem is touching the ground and root itself. If you would like to ensure further that the plant will start there, you can add a very thin covering of soil over the plant. For taller Sedum varieties, you can break off one of the stems and push it into the ground where you would like to grow it. The stem will root very easily, and anew plant will be established in a season or two. See more at How to Grow and Care for Sedum.


Native to calcareous areas of the South-Central and Southeastern United States.


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Sedum pulchellum (Widow’s Cross) – Succulent plants

Sedum pulchellum is an ornamental succulent plant. It is stonecrop with ascending to spreading pink to light green stems that typically rise up to 30 cm tall. The leaves are alternate, smooth, stem-clasping, cylindrical, pale green to lime green, up to 1 inch long and are densely arranged along the stem. The stem is topped by a horizontally branched cyme of tiny flowers which bloom in May to June. Each flower is up to 1.3 cm across and has 4 pink petals, 4 green sepals, 4 pistils, and 8 stamens. The flowers are followed by dehiscent seed pods which develop in June and July.

Scientific Classification:

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Sedoideae
Tribe: Sedeae
Subtribe: Sedinae
Genus: Sedum

Scientific Name: Sedum pulchellum Michx.
Synonyms: Aectyson sagittatum, Chetyson vigilmontis, Sedum pulchrum, Sedum vigilimontis.
Common Names: Widow’s Cross, Widowscross, Sea Star.

How to grow and maintain Sedum pulchellum (Widow’s Cross):

It requires full sun to light shade. Two to four hours of afternoon sunlight is best for the plant. South-facing windows are ideal or west, north-facing will not encourage growth.

It grows best in Well-draining, poor soils, sand, rock gardens, and rich garden soil, under a variety of light levels. Use 2 parts potting soil, 2 parts coarse sand, 2 parts peat and 1 part perlite or crushed charcoal.

It Prefers ideal temperature between 65°F – 75°F / 18°C – 25°C during summer. Temperature no lower than 50 °F – 55°F / 10°F – 12.7°C is best. It does best in hotter conditions. Try not to keep the plant outside in freezing temperatures.

Sedum plant needs more water in the spring and summer, but you can allow the topsoil to become slightly dry between each watering. During the winter season, reduce watering.

Fertilize once a month with a diluted liquid fertilizer or use a slow-releasing nitrogen-based fertilizer, during the spring and summer season.

It can be easily propagated by stem and leaf cuttings. you can break off one of the stems and push it into the ground where you would like to grow it. The stem will root very easily. Or Cut off leaves from the stem, let them dry, and then place the cutting into the soil. Keep the potting soil moist until the cutting begins to grow.

Re-pot your plant every year or every two years. As the plant grows, you should move it to a wider pot so the new stems and roots have enough room to develop. Repotting is best done during spring.

Pests and Diseases:
Sedum plant has is no serious pests or diseases issues. Watch for aphids and flies. You can dispose of them by spraying insecticidal soap or neem oil over the foliage.

Sedum pulchellum Widow's Cross

Map Key

This map shows the native and introduced (adventive) range of this species. Given appropriate habitat and climate, native plants can be grown outside their range.

1 Question asked on Sedum pulchellum


Growing your own plants from seed is the most economical way to add natives to your home. Before you get started, one of the most important things to know about the seeds of wild plants is that many have built-in dormancy mechanisms that prevent the seed from germinating. In nature, this prevents a population of plants from germinating all at once, before killing frosts, or in times of drought. To propagate native plants, a gardener must break this dormancy before seed will grow.

Each species is different, so be sure to check the GERMINATION CODE listed on the website, in the catalog, or on your seed packet. Then, follow the GERMINATION INSTRUCTIONS prior to planting. Some species don't need any pre-treatment to germinate, but some species have dormancy mechanisms that must be broken before the seed will germinate. Some dormancy can be broken in a few minutes, but some species take months or even years.

Seed dormancy can be broken artificially by prolonged refrigeration of damp seed in the process of cold/moist STRATIFICATION. A less complicated approach is to let nature handle the stratifying through a dormant seeding, sowing seeds on the surface of a weed-free site in late fall or winter. Tucked safely beneath the snow, seeds will be conditioned by weathering to make germination possible in subsequent growing seasons.

To learn more, read our BLOG: How to Germinate Native Seeds


We dig plants when they are dormant from our outdoor beds and ship them April-May and October. Some species go dormant in the summer and we can ship them July/August. We are among the few still employing this production method, which is labor intensive but plant-friendly. They arrive to you dormant, with little to no top-growth (bare-root), packed in peat moss. They should be planted as soon as possible. Unlike greenhouse-grown plants, bare-root plants can be planted during cold weather or anytime the soil is not frozen. A root photo is included with each species to illustrate the optimal depth and orientation. Planting instructions/care are also included with each order.


Trays of 38 plants and 3-packs leave our Midwest greenhouse based on species readiness (well-rooted for transit) and based on order date Spring shipping is typically early-May through June, and Fall shipping is late-August through September. Plant cells are approximately 2” wide x 5” deep in the trays, and 2.5" wide x 3.5" deep in the 3-packs ideal for deep-rooted natives. Full-color tags and planting instructions/care are included with each order.

Shipping & Handling Charges:

BARE ROOT and POTTED PLANTS $50.00 and under: $7.50
over $50.00: 15% of the total plant cost
(for orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required)

TOOLS and BOOKS have the shipping fee included in the cost of the product (within the contiguous US).

**We are required to collect state sales tax in certain states. Your state's eligibility and % will be calculated at checkout. MN State Sales Tax of 7.375% is applied for orders picked up at our MN location. Shipping & handling charges are also subject to the sales tax.

Shipping Season:

SEED, TOOLS and BOOKS are sent year-round. Most orders ship within a day or two upon receipt.

BARE ROOT PLANTS are shipped during optimal transplanting time: Spring (April-May) and Fall (Oct). Some ephemeral species are also available for summer shipping. Since our plants are field-grown, Nature sets the schedule each year as to when our season will begin and end. We fill all orders, on a first-come, first-serve basis, to the best of our ability depending on weather conditions beyond our control.

POTTED PLANTS (Trays of 38 and 3-packs) typically begin shipping early May and go into June shipping time is heavily dependent on all the species in your order being well-rooted. If winter-spring greenhouse growing conditions are favorable and all species are well-rooted at once, then we ship by order date (first come, first serve). We are a Midwest greenhouse, and due to the challenges of getting all the species in the Mix & Match and Pre-Designed Garden Kits transit-ready at the same time, we typically can't ship before early May. Earlier shipment requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

*We are unable to ship PLANTS (bare root or potted) outside the contiguous US or to CALIFORNIA due to regulations.


We ship using USPS, UPS and Spee Dee. UPS and Spee Dee are often used for expediting plant orders they will not deliver to Post Office Box numbers, so please also include your street address if ordering plants. We send tracking numbers to your email address so please include it when you order.


Sedum pulchellum

Sedum pulchellum is a species of flowering plant in the family Crassulaceae known by the common names widowscross [1] and widow's cross. It is native to calcareous areas of the South-Central and Southeastern United States and where it is found on flat rock outcrops, particularly cedar glades. [2] Most populations are in the Interior Low Plateau, and Ozark and Ouachita Mountains. [3]

It produces pink-white flowers in late spring. [4] It is a winter annual, germinating in the fall and dying in the summer. [5]

  1. ^"Sedum pulchellum". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA . Retrieved 9 November 2015 .
  2. ^
  3. "Widow's Cross (Sedum pulchellum)". Ozarkedge Wildflowers.
  4. ^
  5. "Sedum pulchellum". County-level distribution map from the North American Plant Atlas (NAPA). Biota of North America Program (BONAP). 2014.
  6. ^
  7. Hilty, John (2016). "Widow's Cross (Sedum pulchellum)". Illinois Wildflowers.
  8. ^
  9. Baskin, Jerry M. Baskin, Carol C. (1977). "Germination Ecology of Sedum pulchellum Michx. (Crassulaceae)". American Journal of Botany. 64 (10): 1242–1247. doi:10.2307/2442487. JSTOR2442487.

This Crassulaceae-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.

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