S. hintonii is native to Mexico. In particular its distribution area is located in the states of Michoacan, Jalisco, and Durango, in the Sierra Madre del Sur and Sierra Madre Occidental. The type locality, which is the place where the plant was first discovered, is Pinzàn, at an altitude of 800 meters above sea level. S. hintonii grows upon rocky cliffs and outcrops, into rock crevices filled in humus, associated with other succulents such as Peniocereus sp., Opuntia sp., etc…
S. hintonii is probably the most outstanding species of the genus. It is a perennial little plant that forms mats thanks to its spreading prostrate rhizomes, not taller than 20 centimeters. To be clear, a rhizome, in botany, is an elongated stem that grows usually horizontally, at ground level, and puts roots when it touches the ground, thus contributing to propagate the plant. In S. hintonii, stems are so reduced that the plants seems stemless: each one ends up in a rosettes. The most striking part of the plant is undoubtely the bright-green leaves: with their shape that resemble an egg and the white, long hairs that cover them completely, they are probably the oddest leaves among the species of the entire genus. They can range from 1.5 to 5 centimeters in length and up to 1 centimter in width.
The inflorescences of S. hintonii are called “panicles”. A panicle, in botany, is a branched cluster in which each branch has more than one flower, resulting in dense inflorescences, such as the one of the -definitely more famous than our S. hintonii- Yucca. Flowers are instead white and star-shaped, with lanceolate petals.
However Sedums need in general very little care, S. hintonii, being a rare species, is adapted to few, very specifical habitats, and is thus more sensitive to adversities. Here are a few tips:
Keep your S. hintonii in a bright spot, as long as it’s away from direct sunlight during the hottest hours of Summer days.
Put your S. hintonii indoors in Winter. It may survive to low temperatures if its substrate is kept completely dry but we suggest to put it indoors to stay safe.
Pay attention with watering. During the blooming season, namely, from late winter to early spring, water sparingly. During the cold season, instead, keep the soil completely dry. In the Summer, water moderately. Be careful to the guts that remain trapped by the hairs among the foliage: this humidity may cause leaf rotting.
Choose a well-drained potting mix, better if further enriched with about one third of sharp sand or perlite to a standard substrate, that may be either loam- or peat-based.
Fertilization is not necessary if the plant is repotted regularly. In any case, it’s advisable to do it once a year in early spring.
Repot in Spring when the roots are no longer able to grow easily in the pot (usually about every two years). Choose large, shallow pots.
Sedum hintonii can be propagated by leaf or branch cuttings. The rhizomes act as natural reproduction agents and put roots as they touch the ground. Leaf cuttings are more difficult and rarely successfull.
Sedum means ‘plant, annual herb’ in Latin. Such a generic name is justified by the wide distribution of this genus. Recently, this plants have become pupular in roof coverings, the so-called “green roofs”. Sedum hintonii is often confused with S. mocinianum, another hairy, rosette-forming Sedum so that, in some nurseries, it may be mislabeled: the true S. hintonii is hard to find in cultivation.
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