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Rhodiola is a genus of perennial plants in the family Crassulaceae[1] that resemble Sedum and other members of the family. Like sedums, Rhodiola species are often called stonecrops. Some authors merge Rhodiola into Sedum.[2][3]

Rhodiola heterodonta.jpg
Rhodiola heterodonta
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Saxifragales
Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Sempervivoideae
Genus: Rhodiola

Dozens. Included under Sedum at Wikispecies.

Rhodiola species grow in high-altitude and other cold regions of the Northern Hemisphere.[4] Den virtuella floran gives the number of species as 36,[5] the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group gives it as 60,[1] and the Flora of China gives it as about 90, with 55 in China and 16 endemic there.[4] Flora of North America lists only three species in the United States and Canada.[6]

Among the distinguishing characters of the genus are two series of stamens totaling twice the number of petals; free or nearly free petals (not joined in a tube); a stout rhizome from whose axils the flowering stems rise; and a basal rosette of leaves. This genus contains the only species of Crassulaceae that have unisexual flowers.[4][7]

The Holarctic species Rhodiola rosea is used in herbal medicine. A number of species are grown as ornamentals, but growing them is difficult outside their native subarctic and alpine climates.[8]

The name combines the Greek rhodon, meaning rose and referring to the rose-like smell of the roots, with the Latin diminutive suffix -iola.[9]

Chemical compositionEdit

Rhodionin is a herbacetin rhamnoside found in Rhodiola species.[10]


Dioecy, having separate male and female flowers, has evolved at least three times in the genus, and reversals to a hermaphrodite condition have also occurred, which is a rare occurrence in flowering plants. It has been suggested that dioecy in the genus may correlate with abiotic pollination in the cold environment.[11]

Species listEdit


  1. ^ a b Stevens, P. F. (June 2008), Angiosperm Phylogeny Website., Version 9, retrieved 2009-07-26
  2. ^ Ivey, Robert DeWitt (2003), Flowering Plants of New Mexico (Fourth ed.), RD & V Ivey, p. 246, ISBN 0-9612170-3-0
  3. ^ "Sedum integrifolium ssp. leedyi", National Collection of Imperiled Plants, Center for Plant Conservation, 2008-01-29, retrieved 2009-07-26
  4. ^ a b c Fu, Kunjun; Ohba, Hideaki; Gilbert, Michael G., "Rhodiola Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 1035. 1753", Flora of China, 8, p. 251, retrieved 2009-07-26
  5. ^ "Rhodiola L.: Rosenrötter", Den virtuella floran (in Swedish), Naturhistoriska riksmuseet, 2000-04-18 [1997], retrieved 2009-07-26
  6. ^ Reid V. Moran (2009), "Rhodiola Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 1035. 1753; Gen. Pl. ed. 5, 457. 1754", Flora of North America Online, 8
  7. ^ Kunjun Fu, Hideaki Ohba, and Michael G. Gilbert, "Crassulaceae Candolle", Flora of China, 8CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  8. ^ Stephenson, Ray (1994), Sedum: Cultivated Stonecrops, Timber Press, pp. 289–290, ISBN 0-88192-238-2, retrieved 2009-07-26
  9. ^ Eggli, Url; Newton, Leonard E. (2004), Etymological Dictionary of Succulent Plant Names, Springer-Verlag, p. 203, ISBN 3-540-00489-0, retrieved 2009-07-26
  10. ^ Li, Tao; Zhang, Hao (2008), "Identification and Comparative Determination of Rhodionin in Traditional Tibetan Medicinal Plants of Fourteen Rhodiola Species by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography-Photodiode Array Detection and Electrospray Ionization-Mass Spectrometry", Chemical & Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 56 (6): 807–14, doi:10.1248/cpb.56.807, PMID 18520085
  11. ^ Zhang, J.-Q.; Meng, S.-Y.; Wen, J.; Rao, G.-Y. (2014), "Phylogenetic Relationships and Character Evolution of Rhodiola (Crassulaceae) based on Nuclear Ribosomal ITS and Plastid trnL-F and psbA-trnH Sequences", Systematic Botany, 39 (2): 441–451, doi:10.1600/036364414X680753CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)