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Linnaeus named both the Sedum and Rhodiola genera in 1753. "Sedum" is from the Latin "sedo", "to sit," and refers to the fact that some Sedum species attach themselves to stone. "Rhodiola" is Greek for "rose-like".

Rhodiola rhodantha

Rhodiola rhodantha

Rhodiola rhodantha. Synonyms: Clementsia rhodantha, Sedum rhodanthum. (Queen's Crown, Rose Crown, Rose Root).
Crassulaceae (Stonecrop Family)

Subalpine, alpine. Meadows, tundra, wetlands. Summer.
Left: Lake Hope Trail, August 11, 2014.

Rose Crown and King’s Crown are quite similar, having short succulent leaves on a thick, straight 8-13" stem topped by flower clusters.  Both enjoy being in wet meadows, but King's Crown will often also be found in drier open woods and Rose Crown will commonly be found in quite wet high mountain meadows.  Rose Crown’s flower cluster is a rounded column.

Rhodiola rhodantha

Rhodiola rhodantha

King’s Crown’s flower cluster is a flattened pancake.  Color is an even more distinguishing feature: Rose Crown is deep to very light rose; King’s Crown is maroon to almost iridescent black/red.  Most often Rose Crown is found scattered in small clusters whereas King’s Crown often grows in thick patches making its flowers even more vivid and noticeable.  Rose Crown is less common in the Four Corners mountains than King's Crown, but click to see that it is common at its favorite elevations and in its favorite wetlands.

Click for more Rose Crown.

Rhodiola integrifolia

Clementsia rhodantha

Rhodiola rhodantha flower stalks dry to a cinnamon brown.

"Rhodantha" is Greek for "rose flower".  "Clementsia" is for 20th century ecologist Frederick Clements who was, according to William A. Weber, the "originator of [the] plant succession concept".  (More biographical information about Clements.) 

Rhodiola rhodantha was first collected for science by Charles Parry in Colorado in 1861 and was named Sedum rhodanthum by Asa Gray in 1862, Joseph Rose renamed the plant Clementsia rhodantha in 1903, and H. Jacobsen gave the presently accepted Rhodiola rhodantha in 1973.

 

Rhodiola integrifolia

Rhodiola integrifolia

Rhodiola integrifolia

Rhodiola integrifolia

Rhodiola integrifolia

Rhodiola integrifolia.  Synonyms: Sedum rosea, Sedum roseum.  (King’s Crown)
Crassulaceae (Stonecrop Family)

Subalpine, alpine. Meadows, tundra. Summer.
Above and left: Sharkstooth Trail, July 31, 2019 and July 18, 2005.
Left, second photo: Owens Basin Trail, June 13, 2004.
Left, third photo: Madden, June 22, 2004.

Rhodiola integrifolia has a wide range of suitable habitats. The photographs above were taken in a moist meadow; the top one at left was taken on a dry, rocky ledge.

Flower buds are deep maroon and when they open and anther sacks appear the flower heads sparkle. This species is even more eye-catching because its branched rootstock commonly produces many plants close to each other making for quite a beautiful show.

This species was first named Rhodiola rosea by Linnaeus in 1753, was renamed by Antonio Scopoli in 1772 to Sedum roseum, and was given its presently accepted name of Rhodiola integrifolia by Constantine Rafinesque in 1832. 

"Integrifolia" is Greek for "complete foliage", perhaps meaning "entire", i.e., smooth-margined.

Most authorities now place both species shown on this page in Rhodiola.

Rhodiola integrifolia

Rhodiola integrifolia

Rhodiola integrifolia

 

 

Rhodiola integrifolia.  Synonyms: Sedum rosea, Sedum roseum.  (King’s Crown)
Crassulaceae (Stonecrop Family)

Subalpine, alpine. Meadows, tundra. Summer.
Kennebec Pass, July 25, 2019.

 

 

Just after snow-melt, tiny stems emerge to socialize.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After agreeing that this world looks pretty darn nice, they put on their red suits, and form their leaves to accept the sun,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

which rapidly transforms them into green wonders.

 
Rhodiola integrifolia
Rhodiola integrifolia.  Synonyms: Sedum rosea, Sedum roseum(King’s Crown)
Crassulaceae (Stonecrop Family)

Subalpine, alpine. Meadows, tundra. Summer.
El Diente Trail, August 29, 2005.

Both King’s Crown and Rose Crown turn lovely shades of orange/red/yellow/green in the fall.

Rhodiola integrifolia

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Rhodiola rhodantha

Range map for Rhodiola integrifolia