Lenophyllum reflexum


Lenophyllum reflexum

Lenophyllum reflexum is an hairless, succulent perennial, up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall. The leaves are opposite, mostly reflexed, up to 1.8…

Lenophyllum reflexum - garden

Origin and Habitat: Lenophyllum texanum is infrequent or rare, but locally abundant in southern Texas (Cameron and Starr counties) and Mexico (Nuevo León, Tamaulipas).
Altitude range: 0-50 metres above sea level.
Habitat and ecology: Lenophyllum texanum occurs near the coast on sand or sandy soil and on "clay dunes". This taxon is most prolific as the leaves readily fall off and root. It forms mats, often under cacti and other shrubs on the coastal plain and in the lower Rio Grande valley. In Cameron County this species grows in open prairies, or more often in shade in thornscrub and mixed alophyte communities on the clay lomas in Starr County it grows in cracks in limestone at the tops of mesas. Rabbits and tortoises consume the plant. It is a host plant for the Xami Hairstreak butterfly (Callophrys xami).

Description: Lenophyllum texanum is a mostly creeping, hairless, succulent, perennial herb 10-40 cm tall, green becoming reddish. Plants are tufted, with shoots from axils of basalmost leaves, dying to base. The leaves are boat-shaped above, rounded beneath and fall easily all around at the slightest touch and will root, forming new plants.
The flowers are produced on slender upright, unbranched spikes above the foliage in winter, they are rosy-yellow, inconspicuous and not particularly attractive.
Stems: 1-4(-7) dm long, 1-3 mm wide, with 5-8 leaf pairs near base and to 15 pairs in all.
Leaves: Easily detached and rooting. Opposite. Blades thick and fleshy like those of Lenophyllum acutifolium, ovate-lanceolate to elliptic to oblanceolate, acuminate, about 10-25 mm long, 4-10 mm wide, 3-5 mm thick, apex acuminate with tip 1 mm long, green when young. turning lavender-green or reddish with age.
Inflorescences: Flowering-stems erect or spreading. 10-35 cm long, pinkish. Racemes (or spikes or narrow thyrses) 2-15 cm long, 12-20 mm wide at the stem ends not secund but equilateral, 5-20-branched with compact, 1(-3)-flowered cincinni branches mostly 1-flowered.
Flowers: Radial. Sepals oblanceolate-ovate, acute to acuminate 2.5-4 mm long, 1-2.5 mm wide. Petals, distinct, oblanceolate, oblong,acute, buffy or dull yellow with dark purple blotch at tip, 5-6 mm long, 2 mm broad. Corolla 3.5 × 5-7 mm (open). Stamens yellow. All floral parts persistent.
Blooming season: Late summer - early winter.
Fruits: Brown, 7-8 mm long, separating into several erect, many-seeded follicles.
Seeds: ca. 0.6 mm.
Chromosome number: 2n = 88.

Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Moran, Reid V. «Lenophyllum texanum (J. G. Smith) Rose, Smithsonian Misc. Collect. 47: 162. 1904.». Flora of North America. eFloras. Vol. 8 Page 225 Web 19 December 2015.
2) Uhl, C. H. 1 “Chromosomes and polyploidy in Lenophyllum (Crassulaceae).” Amer. J. Bot. 83: 216-220. 1996.
3) Alfred Richardson “Plants of Deep South Texas: A Field Guide to the Woody and Flowering Species” Texas A&M University Press, 2011
4) Urs Eggli “Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Crassulaceae” Springer Science & Business Media, 06 December 2012
5) Jackie M. Poole “Rare Plants of Texas: A Field Guide” Texas A&M University Press, 2007
6) “Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections” Smithsonian Institution, 1862
7) “Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden” 6: t. 50, 1895
8) “Addisonia” 8: t. 267, 1923
9) Clausen. “Sedum of North America”, 586, 1975.
10) James Cullen “The European Garden Flora Flowering Plants: A Manual for the Identification of Plants Cultivated in Europe, Both Out-of-Doors and Under Glass” Cambridge University Press, 11 August 2011

Lenophyllum texanum Photo by: Giuseppe Distefano

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Cultivation and Propagation: Lenophyllums are closely related to Echeveria and with similar cultivation requirements. All can be readily rooted from leaf cuttings or seed. It is essential in cultivation to use a very porous soil, with adequate drainage. Lenophyllum reflexum is a small, slowly spreading groundcover that grows only a few cm tall, it grows most prolifically under glass and is a pernicious weed in greenhouses, the leaves easily dropping off at the slightest touch and each at once starts a new colony. The stems die back after flowering and seem to go into a brief dormancy overwinter. New shoots and plantles reappear in the pot in mid- to late winter. Its succulent leaves are green in a shady site and brownish in sun.
Exposition: Bright light is required to prevent "stretching" of Echeverias ("stretching" occurs when a moderately fast growing plant such as an Echeveria or Lenophyllum, is grown in dim light or over-fertilized, which causes overly lush growth that contributes to weak, pallid plants).
Watering: Water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch.
Hardiness: It is recommended for zones 7 to 10. Protect from frost.
Aerosol salt tolerance: It is reported to be salt tolerant.
Propagation: Quite easy from seed or from cuttings, the latter either from individual leaves or from offset rosettes.

Tips to take care of the Sedum reflexum “Blue Spruce Stonecrop”

This plant is a succulent that does not need great care, making it the perfect plant for those who want to start in the world of gardening.

And because of the peculiarity of its leaves, it is an ideal succulent for succulent collectors.

The sedum plants used in the rockery, succulent gardens and, above all, in pots and planters for terraces, balconies or as an indoor plant.

The substrate can be a mixture, in equal parts, of garden soil, coarse sand and leaf mulch.

Or you can use a specific succulent substrate.

Regardless of what type of substrate you use, you should ensure that it has good drainage because sedum plant, like most succulents, is very susceptible to excess water and the roots of the plant can rot.


The ideal exposure for Sedum reflexum is in full sun, but it can grow perfectly in semi-shade, the only disadvantage of the plant growing in semi-shade, is that the leaves will lose the reddish hue and will be green.


Sedum Rubrotinctum is very tolerant of sun and drought but needs protection against frost.

But Sedum reflexum can easily tolerate winter indoors, as long as it is in a pot with a drainage hole and a sandy soil with good drainage.

The maximum temperature that tolerates the plant is -3ºC.

Water regularly in summer waiting for the soil to dry before watering again the Sedum Rubrotinctum and reduce the risks until in winter they are 3 or 4 waterings per month.

Although Sedum Rubrotinctum does not need subscribers, it is good to add a low concentration mineral fertilizer added monthly during spring and summer.

You can also use a specific fertilizer for cacti and succulents, following the instructions on the packaging.

Sedum reflexum does not require any pruning.

Only if the leaves of the plant are battered or damaged, if this is the case you should only cut the battered leaves.

Plagues and Diseases

Sedum Rubrotinctum can be attacked by fungi if we overdo it with irrigation and, sometimes, by aphids and mealybugs.


Sedum reflexum “Blue Spruce Stonecrop” can spread perfectly through its leaves. Just turn the stem leaf gently.

Make sure that the leaf you get from a clean tug, that is, that there is no part of the leaf on the stem because doing so will give you a better chance of making a successful spread.

You can also use the leaves that fall from the Sedum reflexum without any problem.

You just have to make sure that the Sedum reflexum does not drop the leaves due to excess water.

After obtaining the leaf, you should let the leaf become callous for a day or two before placing it on a special substrate for cacti and succulents with good drainage.

Lenophyllum is a small genus of succulent perennials that is closely related to sedum, graptopetalum, and echeveria (family Crassulaceae). In fact, lenophyllum is so closely related to these other genera that it was originally placed in the genus Sedum and has been crossed with other two genera to produce the intergeneric hybrids xLenoveria and xLenaptopetalum. The genus Lenophyllum contains 7 species of small succulent plants that are all native to the southwestern US and northwestern Mexico. In the wild, lenophyllum grows close to the ground, creating mats of stems and leaves. However, it is not widely cultivated and as a result lenophyllum is still fairly rare in retail markets. The most common species of lenophyllum for sale in the US is L. texanum, the Texas sedum.

Like most desert plants, lenophyllum is drought-tolerant and does not tolerate wet soils, especially in winter. Its small tufted habit makes lenophyllum a great plant for a southwestern-themed rock garden or container. And of course, they are great plants for green roofs. Once established, it will produce stalks with small yellow flowers. Lenophyllum is easy to propagate by simply sticking a leaf in a pot of soil. The leaf will root in and start growing with little care. However in greenhouses, lenophyllum can make a pest of itself by shedding leaves into nearby pots thus spreading into them. When you are ready to buy lenophyllum for your garden, check out our online list of lenophyllum for sale.

Watch the video: How to propagate Sedum Lenophyllum Texanum easily

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