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 Weather Station

Products > Ficinia truncata 'Ice Crystal'
Ficinia truncata 'Ice Crystal' - Frosty Sedge

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Grass-like
Family: Cyperaceae (Sedges)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Variegated Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: Brown
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Height: <1 foot
Width: <1 foot
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Seaside: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Ficinia truncata 'Ice Crystal' (Frosty Sedge) - An attractive evergreen grass-like perennial that grows to 6-8 inches tall with short hardened rhizomes from which emerge tufts of 3 to 4 inch long flat and narrow slightly recurved dark green leaves that have parallel edges and a blunt tip with membranous white margins that appears to give the plant a frosty variegated look. Small golden brown flowers in rounded spikelets are held 6 to 12 inches above the foliage spring into summer. Plant in full to part sun in a well drained soil and irrigate regularly to occasionally. It is cold hardy to 20 F (-7 C) but reportedly dislikes damp cold conditions, so would likely need to be sheltered under an eave or porch in areas that get frost and winter rain, particularly if the soil does not drain well. Tidy up older plants as necessary by triming back in late winter before spring growth. This is a very attractive small grass-like plant with unique foliage that gives the appearance of leaves having an interesting frosted edge. It has long been cultivated in South Africa as an ornamental plant but is fairly new to cultivation in the US and should prove to be nice in irrigated mixed planting beds, borders, rock gardens or in containers. Ficinia truncata is native to South Africa from around Bredasdorp east to Riversdale and Mossel Bay in the winter rainfall region of the Western Cape and further into the year-round rainfall areas of the East Cape Region around Uitenhage where it is typically found growing in calcareous, well-drained nutrient poor soil, typically along coastal river mouths and below 700 feet in elevation. Ficinia is a genus in the Carex family, the Cyperaceae that was named 1832 in honour of D.H. Ficini, the author of a Flora of Dresden. The specific epithet means "abruptly cut off" in reference to squared tips of the leaves. Though previously lumped into the genus Scirpus, the modern treatment considers it most closely related to Isolepis, Scirpoides and Cyperus. Some list this genus as monotypic (having only one species) but in fact there are about 60 species in the genus, with many (~33 species) endemic to the Cape Floristic Region. There is some web information indicating that 'Ice Crystal' was named in Japan and has Plant Breeder's Rights asserted in Europe, but we have been able to validate this information and also do not find that it has a current US plant patent or any active patent application. This plant received the Retailer's Choice Award at Cultivate 19 in July 2019.  The information on this page is based on the research that we have conducted about this plant in the San Marcos Growers library, from what we have found on reliable online sources, as well as from observations made of our crops of this plant growing in the nursery and of plants growing in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens where we may have observed it. We also have incorporated comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from those who may have additional information, particularly if this information includes cultural information that would aid others in growing Ficinia truncata 'Ice Crystal'.