Sedum pulchellum (Widow’s Cross)

Sedum pulchellum, or widow’s cross, is another fantastic plant that Casey and I found in bloom at Middle Fork Barrens Natural Area in Hempstead County, Arkansas back in May, 2021. Growing primarily on calcareous glades, S. pulchellum is a member of the stonecrop family (Crassulaceae). The stonecrop family is known for being quite diverse (the pineapple is also a stonecrop). Along with most species being considered as succulents, stonecrop members utilize CAM photosynthesis – a strategy that helps plants in arid conditions.

The short succulent leaves and utilization of CAM photosynthesis allows Sedum pulchellum to thrive in the shallow soils of glades and barrens in the Ozarks.

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