Scientific: Drosanthemum floribundum
Common: ice plant
Family: Aizoaceae
Origin: South Africa

Pronounciation: Dro-san-THE-mum flor-i-BUN-dum

Hardiness zones
13-24 as perennial, warm season annual elsewhere
USDA 9-11

Landscape Use: Perennial ground cover, trailing over walls, rock gardens, accent, erosion control on steep slopes, annual spring color.

Form & Character: Succulent, low and spreading, colorful, tough.

Growth Habit: Herbaceous to semi-woody short lived perennial, prostrate and spreading to 6 inches high and out to some considerable length. Biologically this succulent ground cover is most active during winter months with little growth occurring during the summer in hot desert landscapes. Stems can form adventitious roots upon contact with soil.

Foliage/Texture: Small greenish gray, nearly cylindrical succulent leaves with crystalline papillae; medium fine texture.

Flowers & Fruits: Flowers bright pink to 3/4 inch wide in mass, yellow flowered cultivar available, fruits inconspicuous.

Seasonal Color: Brilliant masses of flowers during late winter and spring.

Temperature: Mostly tolerant, though experiences heat stress in full sun/exposure Phoenix locations during summer. This is further complicated by being a prostrate ground cover that typically grows in close proximity to ground surfaces that can be as warm as 150oF during summmer afternoons.

Light: Full sun

Soil: In Arizona lower desert landscape soils must be well drained.

Watering: Though a tough cool season succulent, ice plant must be irrigated occassionally in Arizona desert landscapes during summer months to insure survival.

Pruning: Infrequently head back in late fall to control spread.

Propagation: Stem cuttings are very easy to root.

Disease and pests: Root rot in poorly drained soil is common during the Arizona desert summer because during the summer the need to irrigate to facilitate survival is great.

Additional comments: Striking ground cover accent in spring. Sometimes confused with D. cooperi which billows to 2 feet tall as it spreads but otherwise is similar in appearance. Across the Southwest United States, all Drosanthemum species are in reality best suited for use in landscapes along the southern and central California coast and struggle mightly when grown in the interior desert regions becasue of the oppressive summer heat.