Sunday, September 9, 2012
Super Sedum 'Matrona'
It's no big secret that I kinda love Sedums...especially the taller varieties. In the past, my go-to Sedum was 'Autumn Joy'. Now, don't get me wrong, I still love good old 'AJ', but last year I discovered the joys of one of the "newer" varieties of Sedum, Sedum 'Matrona'.
While similar in over habit to 'Autumn Joy', the foliage of 'Matrona' is richly flushed with red. The amount of red in the foliage seems to increase if the plants is more stressed...and, generally, plants in more sun will have deeper coloring to the foliage as well.
There is a bit of variability in the amount of red on the leaves, especially in new leaves, which sometimes have jut a picotee edge of red.
Even more striking that the foliage are the stems, however, which are almost always a wonderful ruby-red, looking almost like pieces of red licorice. By the time 'Matrona' blooms, the stems are a fabulous red, frosted with silver and purple.
Like most Sedums, 'Matrona' is beloved by bees...they seem to be a magnet for honeybees, in particular.
One of the best things about 'Matrona' is that it's quite a bit taller than 'Autumn Joy', which tends to get swamped in my garden as larger plants grow over them (which is pretty much my fault). Luckily, with 'Matrona', my tendency to crowd plants doesn't overwhelm them as easily.
'Matrona' gets around 2-3' tall and about as wide. It's very tough, hardy from zones 3-9. I have to admit, since I've moved mine around a bit, I still don't have any clumps that are really well-established, but I'm hoping next year they'll be really settle in and will bulk up. Like most taller Sedums, they have a tendency to flop open if their soil is too wet, of if they get too much shade.
At first, I thought the coloring of 'Matrona' would make it a little tougher to use than 'Autumn Joy', but honestly, it looks good with everything. It contrasts wonderfully with cooler colors and really plays up the intensity of brighter ones. It plays well with other perennials, and looks fabulous with grasses, especially those in the blue color range (like Schizachyrium).
So there you have it, Sedum 'Matrona', if you are thinking of planting a tall Sedum this year, give it a try!