Last year, Sedum takesimense Atlantis ('Nonsitnal') won the Chelsea Plant of the Year award and sparked enthusiastic interest in variegated sedums. Now comes a variegated sedum in a very different style.
This one is altogether smaller and neater; it's also brightly colourful yet exceptionally tough. Hylotelephium* 'Lime Twister' is a low spreading groundcover for sunny well drained situations.
The stems spread out close to the ground and are covered in pairs of small, rounded, fleshy leaves. Each one is lime green with a broad creamy margin to the leaf; this lighter edging matures to pale chartreuse.
Then, from midsummer onwards, clusters of small starry pink flowers open, giving the plant a whole new look.
This is a small neat groundcover ideal in troughs and at the front of sunny well-drained borders. It’s very happy in dry summer heat and will also take -30°C in winter!
'Lime Twister' is the latest in the SunSparkler Series of dwarf sedums, developed in Michigan by Chris Hansen, another of whose introductions, Sempervivum ‘Gold Nugget’, I featured here last summer. It was spotted as a tiny two-leaf sport on a small plug of green-leaved ‘Lime Zinger’ in 2014. It was tested rigorously, in particular to be sure that plants did not revert to the green leaved original, and Chris found that only one plant in 1,500 reverted.
Compared with the long-established and superficially similar Sedum spurium ‘Tricolor’, ‘Lime Twister’ is more vigorous, is less likely to revert to plain green and also less likely to burn in unusually hot conditions.
There are now nine varieties in the SunSparkler series, also new this year is ‘Wildfire’ with foliage in two-tone red – smoky red leaves are edged in bright pinkish-red.
You can order plants of Hylotelephium 'Lime Twister' from RHS Plants and from these RHS Plant Finder nurseries. And you can order plants of Hylotelephium 'Wildfire' from RHS Plants.
*In recent years these plants have been reclassified. Traditionally known as Sedum, they have now been reclassified as Hylotelephium.
Please note, the contents of this blog reflect the views of its author and do not constitute an official endorsement by the RHS.