Delosperma sphalmanthoides S.A.Hammer
Tufted Ice Plant
Daggodora sphalmanthoides, Komsbergella sphalmanthoides
This species is native to South Africa. It occurs in Sutherland in the Northern Cape province in shallow soils over sandstone rocks.
Delosperma sphalmanthoides is an adorable dwarf succulent that forms a compact mat of gray-green to blue-green finger-like leaves covered in early spring by pink flowers. It grows up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) tall and is the smallest species in the genus. The thick, fleshy leaves are papillate, erect, subcylindrical, up to 0.2 inches (0.5 cm) long and about 0.1 inches (0.2 cm) in diameter.
The solitary flowers are up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) in diameter. Fruits are up to 0.12 inches (0.3 cm) in diameter.
USDA hardiness zones 5a to 10b: from −20 °F (−28.9 °C) to 40 °F (+4.4 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Delospermas grow in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 to 9 and 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. 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 but do well in poor soils. Damp soil, especially in winter, 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 them on the soil's surface and do not cover them, as they need light to germinate.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Delosperma.
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