Penthorum sedoides ditch stonecrop Crassulaceae PESE; Bx, pb; R, gr, h, is, w, wp;


Penthorrum sedoides.Peter. M.

Penthorum sedoides.2001 © Peter. M. (Accessed 4/2014).

Penthorum sedoides is a perennial herb, to 70 cm, stems erect, banched above, hairless, sometimes reddish at nodes; colonial from stolons. 

Leaves alternate, to 12 cm long, 3.5 cm wide (Yatskievych 2006) narrowly elliptic, pointed at both ends, margin toothed. 

Flowers yellow-green, small, usually without petals, sepals 5, 0.1 cm long, persistent in fruit; stamens 10, yellow-pink, longer than pistils, forming a ring around them; pistils (carpels) 5, simple, ovaries fused at base in a ring, styles and stigmas simple, white, forming a ring of beaks in fruit; inflorescence with 5-6 branches, flowers along one side of each branch (secund), stems of inflorescence glandular-hairy (use lens); blooms July-Oct. 

Fruit dry 5-horned capsules about 0.6 cm wide, splitting open around the circumference to release numerous small, warty seeds (Radford et al. 1968; Yatskievych 2006). 

Wetland status: OBL. 

Frequency in NYC: Infrequent. 

Origin: Native. 

Habitat: Open, undisturbed wet areas, marshes, pond shores, soil pH 5-7, moderately tolerant of shade, drought, intolerant of salt, anaerobic soil (USDA, NRCS 2006), however I have seen it growing in saturated soil (Gargiullo personal observation; Fern 2004). 

Notes: Gleason and Cronquist (1991) put Penthorum in the Saxifragaceae. The USDA, NRCS plants database (2006) puts them in Crassulaceae as does Radford (1968).Cooked leaves apparently edible (Fern 2004).