Reflexed stonecrop – characteristics, cultivation and use

reflexed stonecrop
reflexed stonecrop - by Frank Vincentz

Reflexed stonecrop is a not so well-known herb. The leaves and the fine shoot tips are true vitamin donors and find especially use in the kitchen. The slightly sour taste spices salads and soups. As a medicinal herb, it is used only occasionally. There is disagreement about the extent of toxicity. Some eat the stonecrop as a spice in salads, while others warn against internal use.

Profile of reflexed stonecrop:

Scientific name: Sedum reflexum, Sedum rupestre

Plant family: stonecrop family (Crassulaceae)

Other names: sedum, Jenny’s stonecrop, blue stonecrop, stone orpine, prick-madam, rock stonecrop

Sowing time / Planting time: March – April

Flowering period: July – August

Harvest time: before flowering

Useful plant parts: leaves

Location: sunny

Soil quality: barren and dry soil

These information are for temperate climate!

Use as a medicinal herb: hypertension, warts

Use as aromatic herb: stews, quark dishes, potato dishes

Plant characteristics and classification of reflexed stonecrop

Origin and occurrence of reflexed stonecrop

Reflexed stonecrop is native to Central Europe, and is usually found on rather barren soils, stone slopes or stone walls. The herbs usually grow together in dense cushions. In the Middle Ages, the herb was often cultivated in monastery gardens. The plant is mistaken in some sources for the biting or pepper stonecrop, which is considered slightly toxic.

Plant order of reflexed stonecrop

The reflexed stonecrop (Sedum rupestre) belongs to the stonecrop family and to the order of Saxifragales. The plant also belongs to the genus of Sedum, which counts more than 300 species worldwide. A well-known representative of this genus is also common with us stonecrop (Sedum acre).

Look and characteristics of reflexed stonecrop


The herb is perennial and reaches stature heights between 10 and 20 cm (4 and 8 in).


The blue-green and tapered leaves are similar to those of typical succulents. It is a typical stonecrop plant in which the leaves are typical water reservoirs.


The yellow flowers are united in an umbelliferous inflorescence. Each inflorescence can contain up to 50 individual flowers. Every single flower is hermaphrodite.


The plant produces typical follicle fruits, meaning that the fruit contains several single seeds.

Reflexed stonecrop – cultivation and care

Reflexed stonecrop is usually grown as an ornamental plant in rockeries. However, some wild herb lovers cultivate the plant in their herb garden.


The plant loves sunny locations


Reflexed stonecrop prefers sandy, nutrient-poor and rather dry soil.


The seeds can be planted in the garden or in larger flower boxes on the balcony at the beginning of March. Dense, loamy soils should be avoided for cultivation. Ideal are sandy and slightly stony soils in sunny to full sun locations.


Without care, the plant also propagates vegetative through a system of creeping roots.


Reflexed stonecrop is hardy, so no measures for overwintering need to be made.


Who would like to harvest the plant for consumption, should use the leaves and the tender shoot tips. The plant flowers between June and August.

Reflexed stonecrop and its use

Reflexed stonecrop is mostly used as a culinary herb in salads, soups and sauces.

Reflexed stonecrop as a kitchen and condiment herb

The slightly sour taste is suitable for a number of stews or for some potato dishes. Many wild herb soups and wild herb salads contain reflexed stonecrop as an ideal complement to spicy or aromatic herbs. Since the herbs can be harvested even in winter, it offers an ideal vitamin donor for winter dishes.

Furthermore, the herb is used for the production of herbal vinegar. The plant is usually processed with other herbs such as lemon balm, tarragon and thyme. In France, it is also used as a seasoning herb for herbal quarks and remoulade.

Reflexed stonecrop should only be eaten fresh or frozen. Drying the plant causes is to lose its full flavor within a short time. If the herbs are used for cooking or roasting, it is advisable to add the shoot tips and leaves only at the end.

Attention! Slightly toxic. Only use low doses.

Reflexed stonecrop as a medicinal herb

The plant was also used in the Middle Ages to treat various ailments. The herbs were used for scurvy, hypertension or urinary complaints. Reflexed stonecrop is considered a diuretic and is very rich in vitamin C. The containing tannins should also support the treatment of high blood pressure and arterial diseases.

Occasionally, options for the external treatment of warts are given. However, some sources indicate only stonecrop as a plant that does not allow proper classification. The stonecrop (Sedum acre) was already used in ancient times as a medicinal plant, the blue stonecrop (the plant described here as reflexed stonecrop) is usually listed only in conjunction with minor ailments or as condiment.

Reflexed stonecrop can be used for these ailments and diseases

  • constipation
  • corns
  • epilepsy
  • high blood pressure
  • vitamin C deficiency
  • warts
  • worms
  • wounds

Medicinal properties

  • astringent
  • diuretic

Attention! Slightly toxic. Only use low doses, in tea blends, homeopathic or external use.


Ask your doctor or pharmacist. Visiting this page can not replace the visit to the doctor. For serious or unclear complaints, consult your doctor.

Buy reflexed stonecrop – What to pay attention to?

Reflexed stonecrop is rarely found in supermarkets and specialty stores, as it can only be sold fresh. More important is the purchase of seeds. When buying seeds care should be taken that wild forms, not cultured varieties, are purchased. Look for the botanical name (Sedum reflexum, Sedum rupestre) to avoid confusion with the slightly poisonous stonecrop (Sedum acre).

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