The Sedum genus is made up of over 600 species and like most succulent families, Sedum is a taxonomic mess. So to keep it simple, this week's plant spotlight shines on the popular trailing Sedums, our amigos the Sedum Morganianum and Sedum Burrito! Also known as Diego and Javier, Sedum Morganianum and Burrito are extremely unique plants that are famous for their thick leaves and stems that grow similar to dreadlocks. There's a lot of mystery surrounding these green friends, so without further ado, let's go meet the Sedums!
Burrito or donkey?
Sedum Morganianum or Diego, as we call him, was first classified in 1935 after being found in various nurseries throughout Veracruz, Mexico. Named "String of Donkey Tails" due to its unique, tail-like appearance, Sedum Morganianum quickly became a popular houseplant after its classification. It is recognized by its leaves that are similar to bananas in shape, but much thicker than other popular string succulents like Peggy or Flip.
Diego: String of Donkey Tails Javier: String of Burritos
Sedum Burrito or Javier, is a bit of a mystery in comparison to his older brother (?) Diego. While Diego has longer and slimmer leaves, Javier is known for having shorter, rounded leaves that look like jellybeans and don't trail as much. String of Burritos was classified much later than String of Donkey Tails and to this day, no one is really sure what Javier is. Is Burrito a mutation of String of Donkeys? A completely different species? The love-child of Diego and another plant? No one knows!
Baby plants, baby plants everywhere
Besides having some of the coolest leaves, Diego and Javier are also popular because of how easy they are to care for and propagate. Both plants hold a very "do it yourself" attitude, which means that neither require a lot of maintenance, and the same goes for propagation. String of Donkey Tails and Burritos only need a single leaf to propagate, which gets even simpler when you look at how easily they drop their leaves. So if you're looking for a plant that (almost) takes care of itself and propagates on its own, Diego and Javier have your back!
For a very long time, botanists had never seen a Sedum Morganianum or Sedum Burrito in the wild and their origins were largely unknown. This all changed in 2008 when wild Sedum Morganianum were found growing on mountain ledges in Veracruz. Which helped explain why Sedum are so easy to propagate (it's hard to find love when you're alone on a mountain ledge!). But so far, only two areas in Veracruz have been discovered with the naturally growing plant and traces of Sedum Burrito have yet to be found in the wild. So botanists still have no clue as to what Javier is or where he came from. Our theory? Alien spaceship. I mean, how else do you explain those "out of this world" looking leaves?