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Biting Stonecrop

Similar to English Stonecrop, this robust dwarf succulent can survive for up to 6 months without water. Its bright green fleshy oval leaves, which are 3-5mm long, are much smaller in length and more oval than the leaves of Roseroot.  Its creeping stems make dense mats of colour in sand dunes, dry grassland, shingle and walls, moving inland from the coast in the South and East of Scotland, and around the coasts everywhere else. In the Northern Isles it is becoming established as a garden fugitive.

The limply ascending stems sprout small overlapping leaves which densely cover the stem, growing alternately and stalk-less. Being small and fleshy the leaves look like buds on the stem. They are covered in tiny bumps that resemble grains of sand. Mostly light green they can turn reddish at the tips.  

The bright yellow flowers are 1.5 to 2cm in diameter, and have 5 outer petals, pointed in a star-shape, and 7 to 10 yellow stamens laterally positioned, with creamy anthers. It also has 5 yellow pistils which are flat and upward ascending, looking like another 5 petals.  These form the fruit, a 5-pointed star-shaped seed head.

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