Brilliant Ice Plants

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Misc RHS AGM, Wildlife Value
Shade Full Sun, Partial Shade
Area Frost Pockets, Scotland & The North
Soil Good, Well Drained, Poor/Dry
Colour Pink (Light)
Type Pot Grown
Also Good Repeat Flowering, Seedheads, Foliage
Flowering Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov

Sedum / Hylotelephium spectabile Brilliant

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SIZES 1-2 3-910+
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Sedum spectabile Brilliant

If ever a variety lived up to its name then Sedum spectabile Brilliant does! Easy to grow and relishing hot, dry conditions, the common name for this great herbaceous plant is confusingly an ice plant. Its flat, bright-pink heads of tiny flowers are carried on fleshy stems above attractive succulent grey-green leaves. Sedum Brilliant has won the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit, so has gone through tough trials to make sure it does what it says on the tin.

It only grows to 45cm tall, so doesn't flop as much as some sedums and is a valuable nectar source for pollinators at the end of the season, flowering from August until November. You may see it listed as Hylotelephium spectabile Brilliant - don't worry, it's the same plant.

Great In Your Garden...

This award-winning sedum looks amazing planted in bold drifts towards the front of a sunny, well-drained border, along with grasses and other late-flowering perennials such as Rudbeckia fulgida deamii and Salvia East Friesland.

Whatever your gardening style, or even if you only have a few pots and care about wildlife, it's worth making room for Sedum spectabile Brilliant, as it is so late flowering - especially if you do the Chelsea Chop (see below), as it provides a vital source of food for butterflies and bees.

It's worth keeping the flower heads on the plants during the winter to add form and texture to your border - and they provide handy nooks and crannies for beneficial insects to hibernate in. However, if you choose not to they make wonderful dried flowers.


  • Colour: Pink-mauve flat flower heads.
  • Flowering: August to November.
  • Foliage: Grey-green succulent leaves.
  • Height: 45cm.
  • Spread: 45cm.
  • Spacing: 45cm.
  • Position: Full sun.
  • Soil: Any, well-drained, but does not like heavy clay or acid.
  • Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit.

Did You Know...

Upright Sedums can flop over, especially in fertile soil. To prevent this, try the 'Chelsea Chop' - cut back the stems around the time of the Chelsea Flower Show (end of May). Cut clumps back by one-third to a half. This will delay flowering and keep plants more compact by encouraging side shoots.

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Bareroot planting is best done between October and April
Bareroot and potted - what's the difference?

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