Florence Low / Bee file

Cerise hardy ice plant

Durable Delights: Cerise hardy ice plant

Published: Saturday, Jun. 29, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 8CALIFORNIA LIFE
Last Modified: Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013 - 6:53 pm

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

Delosperma cooperi

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

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