Drosanthemum speciosum (Haw.) Schwantes
Dew Flower, Dew Flower Ice Plant, Ice Plant, Red Bush Ice Plant, Red Ice Plant, Royal Dewflower, Showy Dewflower, Worcester-Robertson Vygie
Drosanthemum pickhardii, Drosanthemum splendens, Mesembryanthemum speciosum
This species is native to South Africa. It occurs mainly on shale from Worcester to Heidelberg in the Western Cape province.
Drosanthemum speciosum is an attractive succulent shrub with fleshy green leaves on erect woody stems, forming a dome well covered in colorful flowers in spring and summer. It grows up to 32 inches (80 cm) tall. Leaves are often with red tips. They are opposite, cylindrical to somewhat triangular in cross section, upwardly curved, and up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long.
The flower color ranges from yellow to dark red, becoming darker near the tips of the petals. Flowers are up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter and have a few rows of petals and black staminodes around the stamens in the center. They are open in the morning and close during the afternoon and may not open on cloudy days.
USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
The basics of Mesemb care are very simple, with free-draining soil, plenty of sun and ventilation, and regular light watering in the right season. Yet the difficulties are endless, trying to adapt to the Mesembs' adaptability and follow their growth habits in your particular conditions.
Mesembs require a loam-based compost with extra drainage material such as horticultural grit or perlite. They all like good light conditions and plenty of ventilation.
Some are relatively cold-hardy and can even survive mild winters outside. Most will survive temperatures down to the freezing point. Some Mesembs begin to grow in the fall as the temperature drops and the days get shorter.
Because different genera within the Mesemb family have different growing conditions, care must be taken with watering. Some genera will benefit from a light water spray to prevent shriveling during their dormant period.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Mesembs.
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