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Braunsia apiculata (Ice Plant)


Scientific Name

Braunsia apiculata (Kensit) L.Bolus

Common Names

Ice Plant


Mesembryanthemum apiculatum, Echinus apiculatus

Scientific Classification

Family: Aizoaceae
Subfamily: Ruschioideae
Tribe: Ruschieae
Genus: Braunsia


Braunsia apiculata is a dwarf mat-forming succulent with short, woody, erect or prostrate stems. It grows up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall. The silvery green, opposite leaves grow in pairs, stacking one pair on top of the other. Flowers are pink or magenta.

Braunsia apiculata - Ice Plant


USDA hardiness zone 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

The beautiful flowers, ranging in color from salmon to pink to white, bloom in winter and spring, opening and closing in the afternoon. They do well in cultivation and are, for the most, not very finicky.

Braunsias are moderately slow-growing succulents. Needs moderate water when growing in late fall and early spring. Keep somewhat dry the rest of the time. Like all living rocks, they thrive in porous soils with excellent drainage. It can tolerate high heat and some frost, hardy to 23 °F (-5 °C) or less if very dry. Braunsias are very rewarding succulents and can be cultivated in a desert garden in warm climates or greenhouses or windowsills in the home where too hardy. Enjoy the bright shade in summer and full sun in the other seasons.

They are easily propagated by seed and cuttings. See more at How to Grow and Care for Braunsia.


Native to South Africa (mainly in the Western Cape and slightly into the Northern Cape, from the Cederberg to the Little Karoo). The habitat is sandstone outcrops, among quartzite pebbles or shale among semi-arid vegetation types, including renosterveld and fynbos.


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