Penthorum sedoides (Ditch Stonecrop)
|Also known as:|
|Family:||Penthoraceae (Ditch Stonecrop)|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; wet soil, ditches, along shores, marshes|
|Bloom season:||July - September|
|Plant height:||6 to 24 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: OBL MW: OBL NCNE: OBL|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Flowers are in raceme-like branching clusters in the upper part of the plant. Individual flowers typically have no petals. Around the center are 5 carpels (pistil parts) shaped something like a beaker or decanter. They are surrounded by 10 stamens with creamy white tips that turn brown with age. The flowers are typically on only 1 side of the stem, and the clusters tend to fan out.
Leaves and stem:
Leaves are up to 4 inches long and 1¼ inch wide, finely toothed, hairless, with a pointed tip and tapering at the base. There is little or no stalk. The main stem may be sparsely hairy and is sometimes angular.
Ditch Stonecrop isn't very showy until it fruits, then it can be quite a nice splash of color. Penthorum has been shuffled around various families, at one time in Penthoraceae, then Saxifragaceae, then Crassulaceae, and now is back to Penthoraceae.
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Photos by K. Chayka taken at Vadnais/Snail Lake Regional Park, Ramsey County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Anoka County.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?