Biting Stonecrop - Sedum Acre - Yellow Hebrides Wildflowers

Yellow Western Isles Wildflowers - Biting Stonecrop

Biting Stonecrop - Hebrides Wildflowers
These lovely star shaped yellow flowers display through the summer months in sprays on top of the succulent leaves

Plant forms a Carpet of Wildflowers

They may be small but as the plant spreads and creeps to form great carpets, and there are so many of the beautiful flowers all in one place, it is truly stunning.

Biting Stonecrop A Succulent

You can see this succulent either wedged in the rocky cliff face or even on the shingle or any beaches of The Western Isles as well as by roadsides or wasteland.

Star Shaped Yellow Golden Flowers
During the months May through to July, you will see the lovely star shaped golden yellow flowers which are 12 to 15mm across being held in sprays above the foliage. These wildflowers have 5 petals which are tapered and sharp tipped, 5 sepals and 10 stamens. The plant only reaches to a height of 10cm, however as the plant spreads so much, this is where it's display is quite spectacular.

Leaves and Stems

The leaves are small, flesh, bright green and often a fleshy red. They are at their broadest at the base and are blunt pointed, they form a "mat" of creeping groundcover and grow to about 10cm. The leaves are bulbous,and are covered in lumps.


Click pictures below for larger photographs

Latin Name - Sedum Acre - Meaning
The name "Acre" is the latin name meaning sharp, the leaves have a sharp taste.

Stonecrop Family of Wildflower Plants

Biting Stonecrop belongs to the Crassulaceae (or Stonecrop)family. It is a succulent, that is to say it stores water in its leaves which is why it can survive in very dry places

Can Survive Six Months Without Water

The plant can survive half the year without any water. Here on the Island you can see it sometimes wedged high into the rocks above the beaches or sometimes it can be seen growing quite well in the sand or on the shingle, roadsides or wasteland. This plant likes to grow on the limestone of the rocks. Succulents growing on beaches are better able to stand the splashes of salt water that are likely to fall on them.


There are many tales surrounding this pretty yellow star shaped wildflower. It is said that it used to be planted on roofs as a means of warding off evil spirits, witches and lightning.
Biting Stonecrop - Hebrides Yellow Wildflowers

Follicles Open in the Rain
For a plant that grows in dry rocky places you will be surprised to know perhaps that the biting stonecrop’s follicles open only in the rain and the seeds spread with raindrops and running water far from the parent plant

Many Common Names for these lovely yellow wildflowers
This plant is also sometimes commonly called Goldmoss, Sedum Stonecrop, Wall-pepper, Wallpepper, Goldmoss Stonecrop. The leaves taste like pepper, hence the name comes from "biting" stonecrop.

Food for the Moths and Butterflies
Many butterflies and moths feed off these wild flowers, the plant is a particular favourite of several types of moths.

Biting Stonecrop
The biting stonecrop has a bitter-tasting fluid in its leaves (acris, Lat. acrid) and is said to be poisonous and may cause skin rashes.

Poetry - William Wordsworth

The great poet Wordsworth mention the yellow stonecrop in one of the verses in "The Excursion"
The honeysuckle, crowding round the porch,
Hung down in heavier tufts, and that bright weed,
The yellow stonecrop, suffered to take root,
Along the window's edge, profusely grew,
Blinding the lower panes.
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