Ask a Question forum: What's the difference between Delosperma and Carpobrotus chilensis?

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Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Orchids
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sugarcane
Aug 12, 2017 8:45 AM CST
Hi All!
I am looking for one of my favorite plants, which I've always known as 'Ice Plant' ..Delosperma.
In doing my research for my new zone just north of Tampa Florida, I'm finding something called Carpobrotus chilensis (sp?) also known as Ice Plant. What is the difference between the two? We occasionally get some cold nights here in my new zone ( which I'm having difficulty accepting that its zone 9) . I haven't seen either for sale or growing in anyones yard.
Any explanation would be appreciated ..
Thanks in advance!
Lindsey
lindsey
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Bromeliad
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Baja_Costero
Aug 12, 2017 9:12 AM CST
The Carpobrotus has much fatter leaves than your average Delosperma. They are triangular in cross section. It is closely related to the common Carpobrotus edulis, which is not too easy to tell apart from C. chilensis without flowers. You might check out pictures online of either species to get a handle on the Carpobrotus look.

Both of those Carpobrotus species are borderline weeds in permissive climates, due to their ability to spread and endure drought, but they have been quite popular for landscaping along highways in places like Southern California for the same reasons. Around here they are invasive and pop up all over, displacing native plants from habitat.

Delosperma is a pretty big genus in terms of the diversity you might find among cultivated plants. There are lots of different flower colors and habits, thus a lot of options to choose from, well beyond the 100 or so actual species. There will be various differences in terms of hardiness and habit. Try to see if you can find something planted in the ground so you know what it will look like when it spreads out. If it's in a public place and you can grab a cutting, even better, since these plants are relatively easy to start that way.

Ice plants as a family are fairly diverse (maybe 2000 species) so they encompass a good deal of variety well beyond the plants you mentioned. This is the umbrella group under which Carpobrotus and Delosperma belong. They are often South African plants, and many of the mat-forming ice plants make pretty good ground covers. They go by various common names, many of which are not very specific and thus not so useful for identifying any particular plant.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Aug 12, 2017 6:17 PM (+)]
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Aug 12, 2017 9:20 AM CST
To summarize, same family, different Genus. Smiling
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Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
Pour vivre parmi les fleurs
Irises Garden Photography I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Butterflies Birds
Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hummingbirder Plant Identifier
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Zencat
Aug 12, 2017 9:59 AM CST
Can Carpobrotus chilensis survive frost? My Delosperma does quite well.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Bromeliad
Hummingbirder Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator
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Baja_Costero
Aug 12, 2017 10:06 AM CST
Not beyond zone 9a , I think.
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Orchids
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sugarcane
Aug 12, 2017 10:27 AM CST
Thanks all!
I appreciate the quick tutorial Thank You!
lindsey
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Bromeliad
Hummingbirder Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator
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Baja_Costero
Aug 12, 2017 6:33 PM CST
Thank you for the acorn. A couple quick photos of Delosperma (unknown type/variety) growing on a slope... flowering in late March, and a closer shot showing the kind of terrain it's good at covering. The ice plants are there to guard against erosion.

Thumb of 2017-08-13/Baja_Costero/d54573 Thumb of 2017-08-13/Baja_Costero/ca3770

Eagle eyes will note a Carpobrotus upper left in the second picture, also a different ice plant upper right. There is also a different yellow-flowered one obscured on the bottom right in the first picture. These are survivors from the trials I did at one point with every mat-forming ice plant I could get my hands on, to see how they grew and how good they were at stabilizing the slope. The Delosperma was the general winner of that contest and the one I encouraged to spread.

There's also a lizard hole lower right in the second picture. The opening is now covered up by the Delosperma months later, making it quite secure. The dogs that roam out there have not yet figured out that somebody lives there. Smiling Lizards are my friends in the succulent garden, I think.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Aug 12, 2017 6:46 PM (+)]
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Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Orchids
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sugarcane
Aug 12, 2017 8:34 PM CST
Thumb of 2017-08-13/sugarcane/328a5b

This was the Delosperma I was so in love with , in my garden in NC. I didn't find it invasive..it did spread , but in an acceptable way..this one kept the weeds down at the edge of the bed. It took hard frosts in NC and came back strong the following years. I have lived in Florida only 2 years , and it's a mystery to me why I can't find this wonderful plant...anywhere. I suspect it's a little more hardy than the Carpobrotus ...but I can't seem to find that one either..a mystery.
lindsey

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