Spreading Stonecrop, Sedum divergens, forms perennial rhizomes that lie just under the surface (6). Short stalks of succulent, red leaves (5) and bright yellow flowers spring up from the rhizomes. These photos were taken above 6,000 feet near the end of the Obstruction Point road in Olympic National Park. The plant also grows on headlands and lava fields from sea level up.
The similar Oregon Stonecrop, which has greenish, more pointed leaves, grows in other high-elevation locations in the Olympics.
Several northwest tribes traditionally used the leaves of Spreading Stonecrop as food (the Haida called the leaves “berries”) or medicine, either applied to the skin or used in a tea.