Delosperma nubigenum
Common Name: delosperma
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Aizoaceae
Native Range: South Africa
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: Yellow
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Drought

Culture

Grow in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Prefers a dryish, sandy soil. Good soil drainage is essential for the plant, particularly in winter where moist to wet soils can be fatal. Avoid overwatering. Good tolerance for drought and heat. Best grown in a sheltered location in the St. Louis area where plants may not be reliably winter hardy. Protect in winter.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Delosperma nubigenum, commonly called ice plant, is native to certain mountainous areas of South Africa. It is a succulent, mat-forming species that reportedly has the best winter hardiness of the ice plants currently in cultivation. It typically grows to only 2” tall but spreads to 20” wide. Foliage is covered with small but bright yellow flowers (to 3/4” diameter) from late May to fall. Intensity of the flower color and length of the bloom enhances the ornamental interest of these plants. Succulent fleshy green foliage. Foliage acquires reddish hues in fall. Plants are evergreen in warm winter climates, but at best only semi-evergreen in the St. Louis area.

Genus name comes from the Greek words delos meaning evident and sperma meaning seed in reference to the exposed seeds.

Specific epithet means rusty.

Foliage is covered with transparent flakes that somewhat resemble tiny pieces of ice, hence the common name.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for aphids and mealybugs. Winter hardiness may be a problem in the St. Louis area.

Garden Uses

Ground cover or edger. Grows well in hot, dry locations. Rock gardens. Also effective in containers.