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Delosperma

Ice Plant
Aizoaceae
Cacti and succulents, Ground covers, Perennials

This group of ice plants includes several unusually hardy South African groundcovers and rock garden plants. With the latter, withhold water in fall to harden off plants for the winter; they also appreciate a gravel mulch to keep the crowns dry. All species do best with regular water in summer, but they will get by with just enough water to keep them looking bright and fresh. Except as noted, the fleshy leaves are rich green.

Delosperma cooperi (photo courtesy of Linda Lamb Peters)
Delosperma cooperi (photo courtesy of Linda Lamb Peters)

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Delosperma cooperi

Reaches 3 in. tall and 1 1/2 ft. wide, with cylindrical leaves and a summer-long display of rich purple flowers.

Delosperma nubigenum (photo courtesy of Annie’s Annuals & Perennials)
Delosperma nubigenum (photo courtesy of Annie’s Annuals & Perennials)

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Delosperma nubigenum

Only 1 in. tall, spreading to 3 ft. The cylindrical leaves turn red in fall and winter, green up again in spring. Bright golden yellow, 1–1 1/2 -in. flowers cover the plant in late spring.

Delosperma ‘Alba’

Spreading dwarf plant, rooting freely from stems. Roundish leaves; small white summer flowers that attract bees. Good ground- and bank cover; plant 1 ft. apart for quick cover.

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