Delosperma cooperi (Hook.f.) L.Bolus is the correct and accepted name for the Ice Plant. It was described as such by Harriet Margaret Bolus in Flowering Plants of South Africa in 1927. It was first described as Mesembryanthemum cooperi by Joseph Dalton Hooker in the Botanical Magazine in 1877.
Joseph Dalton Hooker (Hook.f) was a 19th-century British botanist and is considered the founder of geographical botany. He was Charles Darwin’s closest friend. He served as the director of the Royal Botanical Garden at Kew for 20 years, succeeding his father, William Jackson Hooker (Hook.).
The genus, Delosperma N.E.Br., was named and described by Nicholas Edward Brown in Gardener’s Chronicle in 1925.
Plants of the World Online by Kew lists 170 species in the Delosperma genus (as of 8-5-21 when this age was last updated). It is a member of the plant family Aizoaceae with 120 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made.
Delosperma cooperi, commonly known as Ice Plant, is a native of South Africa. They can form a vigorous growing ground cover if they like their conditions. Although they are considered evergreen, in cooler parts semi-evergreen is most likely. They like it dry most of the time which is likely why they don’t survive in areas with cooler, wet winters.
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I bought my Delosperma cooperi in the spring of 2009. It survived until sometime in 2010 but I am not sure what happened to it. It is likely it got to much water where it was growing (from watering the flower beds during the summer). The last photo of it is in April 2010. According to Dave’s Garden, it is a perennial succulent that is hardy in USDA zones 5a to 9b and they make a good ground cover. They produce a lot of flowers which leads to another common name ‘Pink Carpet’. Some cultivars produce vermillion or red flowers but mine was kind of a pinkish color.
SIZE: Under 6 inches tall x 1-2’ wide
SPACING: 9-12” apart.
LIGHT: Full sun
BLOOM TIME: Mid-summer through early fall
One day when I was visiting my cousin and his wife, I had to take photos of her plants, planters, and flower beds. This Delosperma cooperi was in the top pot of a tiered planter. She has Fan Flowers in the lower two pots. Although the Delosperma supposedly likes it on the dry side, she waters hers every day in the heat of the summer. It was thriving!
I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant.