Despite the typical Essex summers, they have adapted well to the gravel garden(not artificially watered and with a free-draining gravelly soil), where they make compact, free-flowering plants. Colours range from white through to pinks and reds. The autumn flowering provides a very valuable nectar source for butterflies. On richer soils, they will grow taller, but are likely to fall out untidily from the centres. Seed heads add impressive deep tones among the muted winter tones. These can be cut down in late winter, as new shoots gently emerge, developing into tidy clumps of fleshy foliage through spring and summer. Hylotelephium were part of the Sedum genus, but mainly the taller herbaceous species were moved to this new genus. Many will still be sold under the Sedum name.
Their adaptability to drought conditions is due to a clever mechanism, crassulacean acid metabolism, (CAM). This means the plants stomata are closed during the day and only opening at night, when cooler temperatures, will result is less water loss, through evapotranspiration.