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LAMPRANTHUS spectabilis

Image of Lampranthus spectabilis

James H. Schutte

Family

Aizoaceae

Botanical Name

LAMPRANTHUS spectabilis

Plant Common Name

Trailing Ice Plant

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

With a carpet of fleshy, gray-green leaves, trailing ice plant becomes splendidly colorful with many daisy-like blossoms from late winter to spring. A tender perennial with a sprawling habit, it is a succulent native to the Cape Provinces of South Africa, being tolerant of light frosts. The juicy, and wax-like, three-sides leaves are grayish green and look like small baby's fingers. The spreading youngest stems are often a reddish color and add to the visual interest, especially in late winter as the many flowers open to attract bees. Surrounding a cluster of yellow stamen in the center, each flower has many long, narrow, magenta-violet petals with bases that are pure white. They can be variable in color, ranging from pink, magenta, white or purple.

Grow trailing ice plant in a very fast draining soil that is average to nutritionally poor, high in sand content. Full sun is best for growth and flowering, but being a native to coastal semi-deserts, it will need partial shade from hottest afternoon summer sun in hot arid desert gardens. It is a great groundcover for a succulent garden, rockery, or seaside landscape and in cold regions can be used as either a bedding annual or container plant in spots that are sunny and very well-drained. Of course, also consider utilizing it in a succulent hanging basket or as a massive, widespread hillside groundcover.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 13

  • Sunset Zone

    12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Cactus or Succulent

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    6"-12" / 15.2cm - 30.5cm

  • Width

    18"-26" / 45.7cm - 66.0cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring, Late Winter

  • Native To

    South Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Xeric/Desert, Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Prostrate/Trailing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Red, Purple, Pink, Rose

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Fruit Color

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Gray Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

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

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes