Common Name: delosperma
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Zone: 6 to 8
Height: 0.00 to 0.25 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: May to September
Bloom Description: Lilac-purple with white center
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Grow in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Good tolerance for drought and heat. Avoid overwatering. Prefers a dryish, sandy soil. Superb soil drainage is essential for this plant, particularly in winter where moist to wet soils can be fatal. Plants need protection in winter in the colder areas of its growing zone. It is best grown in a sheltered location in the St. Louis area where plants may not be reliably winter hardy. Easily propagated by cuttings or seed.
Delosperma floribunda, commonly known as ice plant, is a succulent, mat-forming perennial that typically grows to only 4” tall but spreads to 10-18” wide. It is native to South Africa. Succulent fleshy green leaves (to 1-2” long) are evergreen in warm winter climates, but at best only semi-evergreen in the St. Louis area. Foliage is covered with transparent flakes that somewhat resemble tiny pieces of ice, hence the common name. Plants are best noted for producing a foliage-covering June to September bloom of bright daisy-like lavender-pink to lilac-purple flowers (to 2” diameter) with contrasting white centers. Petals shimmer as if they were covered with thin metal.
Genus name comes from the Greek words delos meaning evident and sperma meaning seed in reference to the exposed seeds.
Specific epithet means free-flowering or producing abundant flowers.
‘Starburst’ is a cultivar which does not appear to vary in any significant ways from the species.
No serious insect or disease problems. Crown rot often becomes a significant problem in poorly drained soils. Watch for aphids and mealybugs. Winter hardiness is a concern in the St. Louis area.
Ground cover or edger. Cascade over walls. Grows well in hot, dry locations. Also effective in containers.