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APTENIA cordifolia

Image of Aptenia cordifolia

Carol Cloud Bailey

Family

Aizoaceae

Botanical Name

APTENIA cordifolia

Plant Common Name

Baby Sun Rose, Heartleaf Ice Plant

General Description

The small, heart-shaped leaves of baby sun rose contrast with its magenta-red, daisy-like flowers. This tender, succulent, creeping evergreen perennial is native to southern Africa.

The fleshy leaves are bright green, heart-shaped, and covered in very tiny hairs, and thus feel felt-like. The flowers, with many string-like petals surrounding a small, yellow-white eye, are the size of a large thumbnail and open only when the sun is shining. They are a rich magenta-red and attract butterflies.

Grow baby sun rose in full to partial sun and well-drained soil that is average to quite gritty. In hot summer regions or in a spot with lots of reflective heat, provide some shade in the afternoon. Although a succulent, this perennial needs moderate moisture in summer to grow its best. Keep it drier in the winter. It tolerates light frosts. Use it as a groundcover in a rockery, in a hanging basket or spilling over the edge of a container. There are cultivars with different colored flowers, including white, yellow, clear red and violet.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 12

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Cactus or Succulent

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun

  • Height

    1"-3" / 2.5cm - 7.6cm

  • Width

    18"-24" / 45.7cm - 61.0cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Southern Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Prostrate/Trailing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Light Yellow, Magenta, Violet

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Fruit Color

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Semi-Double

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Container, Groundcover, Rock Garden / Wall, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes