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Products > Ficinia truncata 'Ice Crystal'
Ficinia truncata 'Ice Crystal' - Frosty Sedge
Image of Ficinia truncata 'Ice Crystal'
[2nd Image]
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. 

This information about Ficinia truncata 'Ice Crystal' 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.