Spring is here - or is it?

Even though our yard is still almost totally buried in snow, I went out to look at the little bare patches of ground this morning hoping for a tiny hint of spring. That sounds desperate doesn't it? Well, it has been a very long winter... anyway, look what I found!

photo from our funny farm

photo from our funny farm

This sweet little plant is called Stringy Stonecrop (Sedum sarmentosum). It goes by many other names, including Gold Moss, Gold Moss Sedum, Graveyard Moss, Star Sedum, Trailing Stonecrop, and Yellow Moss. It is a small creeping sedum that spreads quickly and is perfect for rock walls, containers, and water features. It is not really a sign of spring though, because it's an evergreen! Our plants grow down over the rock walls right into the lawn. It can be a little aggressive, overrunning smaller plants but can be cut back mercilessly to keep it under control, without damaging it. Stringy Stonecrop provides a very nice ground cover around the base of larger plants.

photo compliments of itsnotworkitsgardening.com

photo compliments of itsnotworkitsgardening.com

As you can see, in early summer it becomes covered with tiny yellow blossoms making a beautiful golden carpet. Stringy Sedum is also great ground cover for difficult areas like steep or rocky banks.

photo compliments of itsnotworkitsgardening.com

photo compliments of itsnotworkitsgardening.com

The delicate, five-petalled flowers are just beautiful! Stringy Stonecrop grows well in almost all types of soil, and as a succulent, it can tolerate dry spells. It likes full sun but can handle partial shade. The plant is originally from Asia and is used there medicinally. The leaves are edible but it is a phyto-estrogen so it's probably not a good idea to eat a lot of it. It tastes just like a green pepper to me!

     “The eyes were hollow and the carven head was broken, but about the high, stern forehead there was a coronal of silver and gold. A trailing plant with flowers like white stars had bound itself across the brows as if in reverence for the fallen king, and in the crevices of his stony hair yellow stonecrop gleamed.
     'They cannot conquer for ever!' said Frodo.”

J. R. Tolkien