Plants with fleshy leaves, often found in shady spots. Spikes of tubular flowers. This genus includes lamb's ears, U. oppositifolius which is sometimes known as Chiastophyllum and U. rupestris our native navelwort.

Attracting bees to its tubular flowers, Umbilicus is of some importance in the very rocky garden or in the crevice of a wall where sources of nectar and pollen are at a premium. And being very succulent it is capable of withstanding the often arid conditions that go along with such garden habitats. Although U. oppositifolius is being increasingly found outside of gardens, it is in fact usually on the outside of garden walls and not in semi-natural habitats.

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