Delosperma belongs to the Aizoceae family commonly known as ‘Vygies’. Delosperma cooperi are known as ‘Klipvygie’ or ‘Coopers Ice Plant’ and are indigenous to South Africa where they are mainly found in the drier parts of our country.
Delosperma cooperi is a succulent, evergreen perennial that has a creeping habit. They have small, closely branched leaves that are round and up to 5.5cm long. The glistening quality of the leaves is due to water-containing cells on their surface which catch and reflect light, hence the name “ice plant”.
Delosperma cooperi love the sun and thrive in dry and hot conditions. They are vigorous spreaders that form a dense mat, 10 to 15cm high and spread to a width of 60cm. Although they prefer to grow in well drained soil, do not overwater as they will rot.
They are resistant to long periods of drought once they are established however if it is very dry before their flowering time, water them well and you will be rewarded with a good show of flowers.
The fuchsia purple flowers have many slender petals radiating from the centre and are spectacular bursts of colour in the veld. They perform excellently in gardens and without fail ensure the same bursts of bright, purple colours are mimicked in a garden environment
Klipvygies have a long lasting flowering period from late winter extending right through spring. Once the flowers die down, they are followed by highly conspicuous fruit capsules which insects love.
Delosperma’s are hardy to frost and will grow in the winter rainfall areas
In September Deloperma cooperi is a mass of sparkling colour and this low maintenance ‘Klipvygie’ is a must for every garden. Plant them as borders, in rockeries and amongst other succulents.