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Allegheny Stonecrop, Allegheny Live-for-ever - Hylotelephium telephioides


Family: Crassulaceae - Stonecrop family Genus Common Name: Stonecrop, Orpine Native Status: NativeDicot Perennial Herb
Hylotelephium telephioides - Allegheny Stonecrop, Allegheny Live-for-ever. The approximately 30 species in Hylotelephium were until recently classified as a subgenus or section of the Sedum genus. (There may be a move to change Hylotelephium to Anacampseros since it is reported that was an older name previously used for some plants in that section of Sedum.) Most of the morphological differences between Hylotelephium and Sedum are not obvious, but the much larger leaves stood out for me. There are 3 species of Hylotelephium in North America, with the species presented here, Hylotelephium telephioides - Allegheny Stonecrop, being the only North American native. Allegheny Stonecrop usually has a pale pinkish hue, whereas the non-natives have a green hue or darker purple or purple-red color.

Allegheny Stonecrop is "essentially a Central and Southern Appalachian endemic," according to Weakley. While there are some populations outside the Appalachian Mountain region - in Indiana, Illinois, western Kentucky, and possibly Louisiana - the plant will mostly be found in the Appalachians from Pennsylvania south to North Carolina; only at higher elevations in the southern part of its range. I observed it on rock outcroppings along the northern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and along the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Apparently reports of its presence in Georgia and New York are disputed.

Found in:
CT, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MD, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SC, VA, WV

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Hylotelephium telephioides

Distribution of Hylotelephium telephioides in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 26 May 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park, Rockingham County, VA Date: 2014-September-04Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The overall appearance of the inflorescence is pinkish and fuzzy due to the many petals and stamens.
Hylotelephium telephioides

Site: Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park, Rockingham County, VA Date: 2014-September-04Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The flower of Hylotelephium telephioides is 5-merous, with 5 petals which are about twice as long as the 5 sepals, with 5 pistils. The petals are usually pinkish, as may be the pistils. There are usually pale green keels on the backside of the petals. The stamens caused me to spend much time researching this plant, wondering if instead of H. telephioides this is H. telephium since Flora of North America (FNA) says H. telephioides has only 5 stamens and H. telephium has 10. However, I have not been able to find a single photo on the Internet of a plant identified as H. telephioides with 5 stamens; all have 10 (or nearly so.) Even the plant drawing on the USDA database seems to represent more than 5 stamens. H. telephium usually has much darker pink or red-purple petals, and H. erythrostictum, the other species found naturalized in the United States, has greenish petals. Since some of the photos with more than 5 stamens are from respected sources, I am going to assume that this is one of those rare cases where FNA is incorrect. Or perhaps instead, a bunch of us wildflower enthusiasts are incorrect...
Click on the photo for a larger image
Hylotelephium telephioides

Site: Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park, Rockingham County, VA Date: 2014-September-04Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Allegheny Stonecrop grows to about 12 to 15 inches tall. The inflorescences are corymbose cymes - in this photo you can three cymes. In each the central flowers start blooming first, but the outer cymes start blooming before the central one.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Hylotelephium telephioides

Site: Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park, Rockingham County, VA Date: 2014-September-04Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
Colony of Hylotelephium telephioides along the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park in Rockingham County, VA. This colony is growing on a shelf of a rock bluff along the highway.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Hylotelephium telephioides

Site: Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park, Rockingham County, VA Date: 2014-September-04Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The leaves may be opposite or alternate, and either sessile or on very short petioles. They are usually dentate, but may be entire. They are frequently glaucous. The upper leaves are not as reduced in size as in the other species found in North America. It is reported that the young leaves are tasty, but I do NOT recommend you eat them based on my information.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Hylotelephium telephioides

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer