This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum Durable Delights, 30 can't-fail, easy-care plants well-adapted to our region.
Cerise hardy ice plant
Size: Under 1 foot tall
Bloom season: Spring, summer, fall
Exposure: Full sun
Pruning needs: Little or none; to renew, cut back after flowering
Water needs: Once established, water deeply every two weeks.
Snapshot: This hardy ground cover is a longtime California favorite. Native to South Africa, ice plant thrives in well-drained soil and full sun. It tolerates shallow or rocky soil, too just about anything but heavy clay. Once established, it needs very little care. The apple-green foliage creeps close to the ground. In late spring, incredibly showy waves of bright purple-red iridescent flowers blanket the plants. Unlike many succulent ground covers, this variety is cold hardy, too. At UC Davis, it sailed through last winter's subfreezing temperatures unscathed. You can see specimens in the Ruth Risdon Storer Valley-Wise Garden on the UC Davis campus.
For more on Durable Delights, visit arboretum.ucdavis.edu