Delosperma (Ice Plant)
Delosperma, also known as Ice Plant, is a genus of about 150 species in the family Aizoaceae, native to southern and eastern Africa. Delosperma is a small succulent that blooms from late spring into fall. It produces attractive foliage and colorful, daisy-like flowers. These ground covers are excellent for rock gardens and containers.
The scientific name is derived from the Greek words "delos", which means "visible" or "evident" and "sperma", meaning "seed", in reference to the exposed seeds. Delosperma species have hygrochastic capsules, which repeatedly open when wet, and close when dry. The capsule has no covering membrane and the seeds are exposed when the capsule opens.
The plants are not called an Ice Plants because they are cold hardy. The common name probably comes from the little hairs on its stems, which reflect light, glistening in the sun like ice.
Ice plant is a common name used for several similar genera of flowering plants including Delosperma, Mesembryanthemum, Carpobrotus, Conicosia, and the monotypic Disphyma.
Delosperma is a symbol of good luck and good fortune.
Interesting facts about Delosperma:
Delosperma cooperi, native to higher altitudes in central southern Africa, is the most commercially available species.
Its drought tolerance makes it a popular choice for xeriscaping, a method of garden design which involves choosing plants that can be maintained with little water.
Ice plants are sometimes confused with daisies, but they are not related, although their narrow petals give the flowers a daisy-like appearance.