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Rhodiola heterodonta.jpg
Rhodiola heterodonta
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Saxifragales
Family: Crassulaceae
Genus: Rhodiola

Dozens. Included under Sedum at Wikispecies.

This article is about the plant genus. For the particular species widely used in herbal medicine (as "golden root", "roseroot", etc.), see Rhodiola rosea.

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 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 composition[edit]

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 list[edit]

Species include:


  1. ^ a b Stevens, P. F. (Version 9, June 2008 [and more or less continuously updated since].), Angiosperm Phylogeny Website., retrieved 2009-07-26  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  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, 8 
  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:10.1600/036364414X680753