Scientific Name

Hylotelephium telephium ‘Purple Emperor’

Common Names

Orpine, Orpine ‘Purple Emperor’


Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Sedoideae
Tribe: Sedeae
Subtribe: Sedinae
Genus: Hylotelephium


Hylotelephium telephium ‘Purple Emperor’, formerly know as Sedum telephium ‘Purple Emperor’, is a succulent perennial that typically grows in upright to slightly spreading clumps up to 15 inches (37.5 cm) tall. Masses of tiny, star-like, dusky pinkish-purple flowers bloom appear in large flattened heads, up to 6 inches (15 cm) across, atop stems clad with fleshy, dark purple leaves. It blooms from mid summer to early fall.

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USDA hardiness zones 4a to 9b: from −30 °F (−34.4 °C) to 30 °F (−1.1 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Hylotelephium telephium ‘Purple Emperor’ grows best in full sun exposure areas. In hot microclimates, this plant tolerates partial shady conditions. Good-draining soil is required for this plant, which does not tolerate wet roots. Stonecrop plants work well tucked into soil pockets on piles of stone in rock gardens. They are also suitable to grow in containers.

The best time to plant Hylotelephium telephium ‘Purple Emperor’ is in the spring. Place the root ball in good-draining soil so that the top of the root ball is level with the ground. Spacing for this succulent is between 6 and 24 inches (15 and 60 cm). Plant closer together to speed up the amount of time it takes to cover an area.

Stonecrop prefers dry conditions and only needs occasional watering once established. Soak the soil heavily right after planting and then again before the cold weather occurs. Once the extensive root system develops, let the soil dry out between watering.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Hylotelephium telephium ‘Purple Emperor’.


Hylotelephium telephium ‘Purple Emperor’ is a cultivar of Hylotelephium telephium, recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.


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This perennial dies back to below ground level each year in autumn, then fresh new growth appears again in spring.

  • Position: full sun or partial shade
  • Soil: moderately fertile, well-drained, neutral to slightly alkaline soil
  • Rate of growth: average to fast-growing
  • Flowering period: August to October
  • Hardiness: fully hardy
    Dramatic, deep bronze-purple succulent leaves topped with red-purple flower-heads from August to October. In certain light conditions the foliage of this sedum appears almost black. Perfect for use at the front of a sunny, well-drained border or in a large patio pot, the flower-heads are a valuable source of nectar for butterflies and bees.
  • Garden care: The flowerheads look great left during the winter to add shape and texture to your border. In February and March cut back the old flowerheads and apply a generous 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch of well-rotted garden compost or manure around the base of the plant. Once established, sedums can have a tendency to flop leaving an open and unsightly centre, especially in fertile soil. One technique to help prevent this is the ‘Chelsea chop’. During the last week of May (Chelsea Flower Show week), cut one in every three stems back to the ground. This will produce plants that are less lush and flower slightly later.

What Is Sedum ‘Purple Emperor’ – Tips For Purple Emperor Care In Gardens

The Purple Emperor sedum (Sedum ‘Purple Emperor’) is a tough but beautiful perennial plant that produces stunning deep purple leaves and bunches of tiny light pink flowers. It’s a great choice for cut flowers and garden borders alike. Keep reading to learn more about how to grow Purple Emperor stonecrop plants.

Purple Emperor Sedum Info

Sedum ‘Purple Emperor’ is a hybrid stonecrop plant bred for the striking color of its foliage and flowers. It grows upright with a height of 12 to 15 inches (30-38 cm.) and spreads slightly, with a width of 12 to 24 inches (30-61 cm.). The leaves are slightly fleshy and deep purple in color, sometimes

appearing almost black.

In midsummer, the plant puts out clusters of tiny light pink flowers on top of single stems. As the flowers open and flatten, they form flower heads measuring 5 to 6 inches (12-15 cm.) across. They are very attractive to pollinators, like butterflies and bees.

Flowers fade in autumn, but the foliage will remain and provide winter interest. Old foliage should be pruned away in the spring to make way for new growth.

Purple Emperor Care

Growing Purple Emperor sedum plants is very easy. Sedums, also known as stonecrops, are famously tough plants, earning their name from their habit of growing in the poor soil in between rocks and stones.

Purple Emperor plants do best in poor, but well-draining, sandy to rocky soil. If they grow in soil that is too fertile, they will put out too much growth and become weak and floppy.

They like full sun and moderate water. In their first year of growth, they should be watered more to encourage the growth of a strong root system.

These plants look good in garden borders, but they also perform well grown in containers. Sedum ‘Purple Emperor’ plants are hardy perennials in USDA zones 3-9.

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