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Delosperma echinatum (Pickle Plant)

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Scientific Name

Delosperma echinatum (Lam.) Schwantes

Common Names

Pickle Plant, Ice Plant

Synonyms

Drosanthemum pruinosum, Mesembryanthemum echinatum

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Delosperma echinatum is a shrubby succulent, usually prostrate but can grow up to 18 inches (45 cm) tall. It has thin, wiry stems holding pairs of green leaves. 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. From late winter through fall, with a peak in spring, appear white, pale yellow, or yellow flowers held at the stem tips. The flowers are up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) in diameter.

Delosperma echinatum (Pickle Plant)

Photo via cactofili.org

Hardiness

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 the summer and fall. Their foliage is mostly evergreen, and because of this, they make a great year-round ground cover. 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. In areas where the soil stays consistently dry, this plant can become invasive, 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.

Origin

Delosperma echinatum is native to South Africa (Eastern Cape).

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