Delosperma echinatum (Lam.) Schwantes
Pickle Plant, Ice Plant
Drosanthemum pruinosum, Mesembryanthemum echinatum
Delosperma echinatum is a shrubby succulent with wiry stems that bear pairs of green leaves. It is usually prostrate but can grow up to 18 inches (45 cm) tall. Like the younger stems, the leaves bristle with soft, spine-like white hairs. They are barrel-shaped and up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long. Flowers are white, pale yellow, or yellow and appear at the tip of the stems from late winter through fall, with a peak in spring. They are up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) in diameter.
USDA hardiness zones 7a to 10b: from 0 °F (−17.8 °C) to 40 °F (+4.4 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Delosperma plants grow in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 to 9 and will bloom for most of summer and fall. Their foliage is mostly evergreen, and because of this, they make a great year-round ground cover. However, while the plant is evergreen, it will often have some dieback of foliage in the winter.
These plants prefer full sun but can tolerate some light shade in the garden. Because they are succulents, they do not tolerate wet soil, though they do well in poor soils. In fact, wet soil, especially during the winter months, is likely to kill the plants. However, this plant can become invasive in areas where the soil stays consistently dry, so it is best to consider this when planting it.
Delosperma can be propagated by division, cuttings, or seeds. If propagating by division, it is best to divide the plants in the spring. Cuttings can be taken anytime in the spring, summer, or fall. When grown by seeds, scatter the seeds on the surface of the soil and do not cover them, as they need light to germinate.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Delosperma.
This species is native to South Africa (Eastern Cape).
- Back to genus Delosperma
- Succupedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus
Click on a photo to see a larger version.