Sedum telephium (Atropurpureum Group) 'Purple Emperor'
The best dark-leaved sedum of all, finely crimped foliage with a dark sheen, topped by upright stems of ruby-red flowers which begin in late summer and persist - a classy act
- Position: full sun
- Soil: moderately fertile, well-drained, neutral to slightly alkaline soil
- Rate of growth: average to fast-growing
- Flowering period: August to October
- Flower colour: red-purple
- Other features: attractive to butterflies and bees; the dried flower-heads provide colour and structure in the winter garden
- Hardiness: fully hardy
Dramatic, deep bronze-purple succulent leaves topped with red-purple flower-heads from August to October. In certain light conditions the foliage of this sedum appears almost black. Perfect for use at the front of a sunny, well-drained border or in a large patio pot, the flower-heads are a valuable source of nectar for butterflies and bees.
- Garden care:The flowerheads look great left during the winter to add shape and texture to your border. In February and March cut back the old flowerheads and apply a generous 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch of well-rotted garden compost or manure around the base of the plant. Once established, sedums can have a tendency to flop leaving an open and unsightly centre, especially in fertile soil. One technique to help prevent this is the 'Chelsea chop'. During the last week of May (Chelsea Flower Show week), cut one in every three stems back to the ground. This will produce plants that are less lush and flower slightly later.
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