Overview and DescriptionIce plants are an interesting genus of succulents, with daisy-like flowers. There is a good amount of variety; some are low growing spreaders, other become bushy subshrubs. There are over 150 species in this genus from southern Africa. Most are easy growers that bloom freely. The botanical name, Lampranthus, is from the Greek words "lampros" (bright) and anthos (flower).
Leaves: The stocky leaves grow in pairs and can be cylindrical or almost triangular. They are short, very succulent and often blue-green.
Flowers: Daisy-like flowers with thin petals that only open in the sun. Different species bloom in vivid shades of yellow, orange, pink and red. The flowers form near the stem tips. Some varieties bloom over a long period, others only a few weeks.
Botanical NameLampranthus species and hybrids
Common Name:Ice Plant. You may see individual species labeled as Ice Plants and some have quantifiers like Trailing Ice Plant. It can be confusing. If you are looking for a specific plant, you would be wise to have the botanical name.
Cold HardinessHardiness will vary with the species and variety, but most are only perennial in USDA Hardiness Zones 8 - 10. Some species can tolerate a light frost, but prolonged periods of cold dampness will cause them to rot. Gardeners in colder areas can grow them as annuals or houseplants.
Mature Size:The size will vary among the species, but most of the commonly grown varieties remain 2 ft. (60 cm) or lower, with a spreading habit.
Bloom Period:Many put on their best show in spring, with sporadic repeat blooms throughout the season, however a few, like Lampranthus spectabilis, bloom all summer.
- Lampranthus aurantiacus - Spring blooming, upright plant with bright orange petals around a yellow center. H 2 ft. (60 cm)
- Lampranthus coccineus / Redflush Ice Plant - Bright red flowers throughout the season. Somewhat frost tolerant. H 2 ft. (60 cm)
- Lampranthus haworthii - Blue-green leaves held up like a candelabra are covered in pink or purple flowers in the spring. Repeat blooms sporadically. H 2 ft. (60 cm)
- Lampranthus spectabilis /Trailing Ice Plant- Long blooming in white or purple-pink. Low growing and spreading. H 2 ft. (60 cm)