Oregon stonecrop resilient, versatile

Oregon stonecrop is part of a family of plants known as crassulaceae that are often found in the drier parts of the world. This drought-tolerant quality is one reason why gardeners love cultivating these annual and perennial succulent herbs in green spaces that need to be stingy with water use.

Oregon stonecrop is a perennial that sprawls as it grows three to six inches tall. Its fleshy dark-green leaves crowd together and are shaped likes eggs or spoons. The flowers of Oregon stonecrop are yellow — before turning pink with age — with spiky petals that grow in groups of five.

Native peoples used the plant for food and medicine. The Nuxalk ate the crisp leaves as food while Makah women consumed them to bring about menstruation.

Sources: “Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast,” edited by Jim Pojar and Andy MacKinnon; “Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest,” by Mark Turner and Phyllis Gustafson; “Native Plants in the Coastal Garden,” by April Pettinger with Brenda Costanzo.