Sedum 'Maestro' 

Blackout coralbells, Heuchera    Perennial of the Month-- September 2014 Perry caricature

 (pronunciation at link)  (see' dum)

Common name:  Maestro stonecrop, sedum

Family:   Crassulaceae, Crassula

Height x width: 18-24in high and wide

Growth rate, habit: moderate, upright rounded

Foliage: blue-grey, alternate, 3-4" long and 3" across, broad oval with obtuse apex and rounded base;  on wine-red stems

Flowers:  late summer, early fall; deep pink buds tinted wine red after opening in heavily branched umbel (compact compound corymb in bloom) 4-7in. wide

Hardiness: USDA zones 3-9

Soil:  average to poor, well-drained; tolerates drought once established

Light: full sun (> 6 hours per day)

Pests and problems:  none significant, may get straggly in shade or too rich soil, leafspots possible under hot and humid conditions

Landscape habit, uses:   butterfly gardens, borders, massed, pots, large rock gardens, cut flowers or foliage, dried flowers, winter interest and food for birds from seedheads; combines well with asters including Lady in Black, blue-mist shrub (Caryopteris), Chocolate snakeroot (Eupatorium rugosum), black-leaved bugbanes (Cimicifuga), Fireworks goldenrod, Pennisetum, Blue Oat Grass, Fescues, Russian sage (Perovskia)

Other interest: a sport of 'Matrona' with a more compact and upright habit, with more attractive foliage being darker purple and more bluish; discovered in a Michigan nursery in 2002 by Gary Trucks and introduced in 2006; rabbit resistant; although the genus name comes from the Latin "sedo" meaning "to sit", referring the groundcover nature of some, this is one of the taller upright sedum

Other culture:  don't cut back until late fall or after to leave attractive seedheads, also good for birds; if crowded in 4 to 5 years, divide plants

Propagation:  commercially by licensed propagators (PP 20,094), sold under the Proven Winners program; at home by spring division, or early summer stem cuttings

Sources:  many online and local specialty nurseries

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