Penthorum sedoides (Ditch Stonecrop)

Plant Info
Also known as:
Family:Penthoraceae (Ditch Stonecrop)
Life cycle:perennial
Habitat:part shade, sun; wet soil, ditches, along shores, marshes
Bloom season:July - September
Plant height:6 to 24 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: OBL MW: OBL NCNE: OBL
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: indistinct Cluster type: raceme

[photo of flowers] Flowers are in raceme-like branching clusters in the upper part of the plant. Individual flowers typically have no petals. Around the center are 5 carpels (pistil parts) shaped something like a beaker or decanter. They are surrounded by 10 stamens with creamy white tips that turn brown with age. The flowers are typically on only 1 side of the stem, and the clusters tend to fan out.

Leaves and stem: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] Leaves are up to 4 inches long and 1¼ inch wide, finely toothed, hairless, with a pointed tip and tapering at the base. There is little or no stalk. The main stem may be sparsely hairy and is sometimes angular.

Fruit: Fruit type: capsule/pod

[photo of seed] In late summer the carpels turn red and seed capsules develop, each containing many seeds.


Ditch Stonecrop isn't very showy until it fruits, then it can be quite a nice splash of color. Penthorum has been shuffled around various families, at one time in Penthoraceae, then Saxifragaceae, then Crassulaceae, and now is back to Penthoraceae.

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More photos

Photos by K. Chayka taken at Vadnais/Snail Lake Regional Park, Ramsey County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Anoka County.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Kimberly - Rock County
on: 2017-04-19 11:40:02

Growing in an oxbow restoration on Touch the Sky Prairie NWR.

Posted by: Christine M A - Dakota county, Apple Valley
on: 2017-07-20 15:48:32

I have a very nice specimen of what appears to be Ditch Stoncrop growing in my garden along our curb. First came up last summer, this year it has grown quite a bit larger and full of blooms! I'd send a picture, but I don't see where to do that here. My question about the plant is if it would tolerate a being transplanted? It came in a load of dirt we had delivered four years ago when we created our garden. I like it, but not exactly where it's landed.

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2017-07-20 20:37:30

Christine, plants are best transplanted when they are dormant.

Posted by: Loretta Dahl - North Oaks,Lake Gilfillan Shoreline
on: 2019-08-29 14:02:49

Very close to water, about 6 specimens, 6" to 10" tall. Beautiful in late August with autumn color coming on.

Posted by: Mary Amundson - Quaking Bog across from Eloise Butler Flower Garden
on: 2020-08-11 14:10:18

I saw this while walking through the Quaking Bog on 8/10/ 2020.

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