What is Stonecrop and How Do You Use It?

FR: Orpin GER: Fettkraut SP: Chubarbas, Fabacrasas BOT: Species of Sedum FAM: Gassulaceae

Reflexed Stonecrop

FR: Grand orpin jaune, Orpin reflechi

GER: Zuruckgebogenes Steinkraut

IT: Erba risetta, Sopravivolo dei muri

SP: Fabacrasa reflejada

BOT: Sedum reflexum

The stonecrops, together with the house leek and wallpenny-wort, belong to the family Crassulaceae. They have fleshy leaves and are well-known to most people from their habit of growing on old walls, roofs and damp rocks.

Of these, the reflexed stonecrop, also called the large yellow or crooked yellow stonecrop, is an excellent salad plant that was once used as a flavouring for soups, boiled like spinach or (as it is fleshy) pickled like samphire. The white stonecrop (Sedum album) can be used in the same way.

Some blogs also list the orpine stonecrop (Sedum telephium) of woods as a salad plant, but its other names, ‘life everlasting’ and ‘long life’, suggest correctly that the use of this plant was mainly medicinal.

The common stonecrop (Sedum acre), also known as wall pepper, wall ginger, bird bread and biting stonecrop, is not suitable for use as a flavouring, because of its exceedingly biting taste.

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