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Products > Delosperma echinatum
Delosperma echinatum - Pickle Plant
Image of Delosperma echinatum
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Aizoaceae (Ice Plants)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Pale Yellow
Bloomtime: Spring/Fall
Synonyms: [D. pruinosum, Mesembryanthemum echinatum]
Height: 1 foot
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 0-10° F
Delosperma echinatum (Pickle Plant) - A low shrubby sprawling succulent shrub, often prostrate but can grow to 12 to 18 inches tall, with thin wiry stems holding pairs of 1 inch long barrel-shaped green leaves that, like the younger stems, bristle with soft spine-like white hairs. From late winter through fall, with a peak in spring, appear the 3/4 of inch wide pale yellow flowers held at the stem tips. Plant in full sun to light shade and irrigate occasionally to very little. Hardy to around 25 °F. This plant grows well in the garden in a well-drained soil in near frost free gardens or as a potted plant. In nature this plant grows as in the shrub understory from around 500 to 3,000 feet in elevation in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. 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 comes from the Latin word 'echinus' meaning "prickly" in reference to the thick hairs on the leaves. The shape of the leaf has earned this plant the common name of Pickle Plant or sometimes the confusing name of Pickle Cactus. Delosperma echinatum was originally described by Martin Heinrich Gustav Schwantes, a German archaeologist and botanist specialist of Aizoaceae in 1927 as Mesembryanthemum echinatum in Möller's Deutsche Gärtn.-Zeitung but this plant has since been placed within several other genera in the Ice Plant family, the Aizoaceae, with names such as Delosperma pruinosum, Mesembryanthemum echinatum, Trichodiadema echinatum and Drosanthemum pruinosum. While the name Delosperma echinatum seems to be the one currently considered correct, The Plant List (the collaboration between Kew and Missouri Botanic Garden) has this name as "unresolved". This plant is also marketed internationally under the cultivar name 'DeGherkin'. We thank our friend John Bleck for introducing us to this unusual and attractive plant. 

This information about Delosperma echinatum 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.