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Alpen-Mauerpfeffer

Sedum alpestre Vill.

The Alpine Stonecrop is the Alpine relative of many stonecrop species that are often used as ornamental plants at lower altitudes. Some stonecrop species store pungent substances in their leaves; if you bite into the leaves, you will notice a sharp, pepper-like taste.  

This stonecrop species grows to a height of 2–8 cm. It has yellow flowers and its thick-fleshy leaves are characteristic of all stonecrop species. The Alpine Stonecrop is perennial and overwinters under snow cover at a “comfortable” temperature of 4 °C. 

Facts and Figures

A member of the Sedum genus, it stores water in its fleshy leaves. This allows it to live in arid locations where there is no need to compete against other plant species. Most species of stonecrop also have a special type of metabolism (Crassulacean acid metabolism) that temporally separates the uptake and processing of carbon dioxide. As a result, the plant loses less water during the day through transpiration.  

Territory

The Alpine Stonecrop is found in Central and Southern Europe. In Switzerland, it is found in the Alps on nutrient-deficient grassland and scree. It is not common on the Gornergrat, but it can sometimes be found here where acidic subsoil predominates.   more information

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