Orpine is from the Latin verb sedeo, which means to sit. A reference to how the plant squats on rocks etc.

The species name comes from Telephus who was the son of Heracles and Auge in Greek mythology.

The name Orpine comes from a yellow arsenic sulfide known as orpiment as it was the name ascribed to the yellow flowered species before being transferred to the pink flowered variety.

It was also called ornal in the 14th century and used in various medicines.

Scientific Name

Sedum telephium



Botanical Description of Orpine

The largest British species, growing about 2 feet high, and well distinguished by its large, broad, ovate, serrate leaves and crimson flowers.


Perennial. Native.

Habitat and Distribution

Hedge banks, lanes, rocky thickets, borders of fields.

Parts Used for Food


Harvest Time


Food Uses of Orpine

I find the leaves of Orpine are at their tastiest during the Winter months when they develop a tangy flavour. I suppose the tradition of eating the leaves during Winter might be the reason why it is also called Iceplant.

Orpine Recipes

Safety Note

There is little data about the plant’s toxicity. Consult a medical professional before using as a medicinal herb.

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