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Products > Delosperma cooperi
Delosperma cooperi - Purple Ice Plant
Image of Delosperma cooperi
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Aizoaceae (Ice Plants)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Purple
Bloomtime: Spring/Fall
Synonyms: [Mesembryanthemum cooperi]
Height: <1 foot
Width: 3-4 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Seaside: Yes
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 0-10° F
Delosperma cooperi (Purple Ice Plant) A evergreen to semi-evergreen (depending on winter temperatures) mat forming plant that can spread to 3-4 feet across but rarely over 3 inches tall with rounded, narrow paired succulent leaves 1 inch long by about 1/4 inch wide with a flattened side facing inwards. The stems are lighter colored with the leaves a mid to pale green and covered with short soft hairs. The leaf color deepens with lower temperatures in colder locations. In warm sunny conditions the 2 inch wide fluorescent purple flowers bloom from late spring through summer and into fall with peak in mid summer. Tolerates shade but best in full sun in a well drained soil and little to occasional irrigation. Tolerant of most soil conditions except heavy clay and cannot tolerate wet soils, even in winter. It is among the most hardy of the ice plants, tolerating temperatures, though going deciduous, down to around 5 °F and useful in gardens in USDA Zone 7 and above; it is known as one of the few to survive winter and thrive in the British Isles. A great groundcover in any well-drained location such as along a slope, raised bed or planter or out in the open in a sandy soil and is known in these conditions to even outcompete aggressive weeds. As with many of the "ice plants" this one reportedly also tolerates seaside conditions. This species has limited distribution from 4,000 to 6,000 feet in elevation from between Bloemfontein in Orange Freestate Province of South Africa and Maseru, the capital of independent nation of Lesotho. It is so showy in full bloom that it is commonly called Pink Carpet, though it is typically a more purple color as should not be confused in Southern California with the very common Rosea Ice Plant or Pink Ice Plant, Drosanthemum floribundum. The common name Purple Ice Plant also can lead to confusion with another more common ice plant in Southern California, the taller climbing Purple Trailing Iceplant, Lampranthus productus. Other common names include Hardy Ice Plant, Trailing Iceplant and Cooper’s Ice Plant. Unlike many other ice plants this species is not considered invasive and is recommended by The California Invasive Plant Council (Cal-IPC) as a recommended alternative plant to the invasive Hottentot fig (Carpobrotus edulis). The name for the genus comes from the Greek words 'delos' meaing "visible" and and 'sperma' meaing "seed" in reference to the seed capsules not having a membranes over the top so that the seed are exposed when the fruit capsules opens. The specific epithet honors he English botanist plant explorer Thomas Cooper, (1815-1913) who while employed by W.W. Saunders, studied and collected plants in the mid to late 1800's in Zulu territory and in the Drakensberg Mountains of eastern South Africa. Many plants are named after Cooper, including taxa in the genera Streptocarpus, Drimia, Ledebouria,Adromischus, Crassula, Chlorophytum, Delosperma, Cyathea, Aloe, Sutera, Orbea,Wahlenbergia, Tritonia, Dierama, Moraea, Ranunculus, Asclepias, Disa, Helichrysum, Euphorbia and Haworthia. 

This information about Delosperma cooperi displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.