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Delosperma cooperi

Delosperma cooperi, Photo: Michael Lahanas

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Ordo: Caryophyllales

Familia: Aizoaceae
Subfamilia: Ruschioideae
Tribus: Ruschieae
Genus: Delosperma
Species: Delosperma cooperi

Delosperma cooperi (Hook.f.) L.Bolus, 1927

Delosperma cooperi f. bicolor (L. Bol.) Rowley
Mesembryanthemum cooperi Hook.f.

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Africa
Regional: Southern Africa
South Africa (Free State), Lesotho

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition

Bolus, H.M.L., Flowering Plants of South Africa. A Magazine Containing Hand-coloured Figures with Descriptions of the Flowering Plants Indigenous to South Africa. London, Johannesburg and Cape Town 7: sub t. 261. 1927


Hassler, M. 2018. Delosperma cooperi. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2018. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published online. Accessed: 2018 Jul. 05. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2018. Delosperma cooperi. Published online. Accessed: Jul. 05 2018.
The Plant List 2013. Delosperma cooperi in The Plant List Version 1.1. Published online. Accessed: 2018 Jul. 05.
Tropicos.org 2018. Delosperma cooperi. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 05 Jul. 2018.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Delosperma cooperi in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 09-Oct-10.

Vernacular names
English: Trailing Iceplant

Delosperma cooperi (syn. Mesembryanthemum cooperi), the trailing Iceplant, hardy iceplant or pink carpet,[1] is a dwarf perennial plant native to South Africa. It forms a dense lawn with abundant, long-lasting flowers. It reaches sizes of approximately 10–15 cm (4–6 in) tall, with fleshy leaves that are linear and simple and can grow up to 1.5 inches long and a trailing stem that hangs down.[2] These fleshy roots help provide the ability for the plants to recover and grow rapidly if a disturbance has occurred.[3]


The flowers are the most brilliant aspect of this plant, with the production of a great quantity of vermillion, magenta or pink flowers that often covers the entire site, hence the popular name "pink carpet". The plant contains ramified stems that are spread out, carrying sheets opposed,? and are long and narrow, with the end of the stems increasing into a quantity of isolated small flowers, with diameters ranging from 3 to 5 cm (1 to 2 in). These abundant and long-lasting flowers remains in bloom from June to October.[where?][4] The plant is sun-loving, and thrives in very dry and hot environments. While it adapts well to various soil types, it will suffer under water stagnation, and thus prefers well drained soils, or even rocky terrain. University of Arkansas Research and Extension states these native habitat lack in competition with grasses, so as a result are mostly found in dry, salt-tolerant, rocky sites.

According to the New Mexico State University extension, the common name, "ice plant" is because "they have bladder-like hairs on the leaf surface that reflect and refract light in a manner to make it appear that they sparkle like ice crystals" (or tiny glass beads). However, many other species of succulent so-called "ice plant" ground covers have smooth and hairless leaves.

Cultivation and uses

It can be cultivated in a wide range of areas with a Mediterranean climate. Unlike many ice plants, this species is hardy to −20 °F (−29 °C), successfully overwintering at locations such as Denver, Colorado and Chicago, Illinois. The leaves turn red in cold winter temperatures. Due to the low need for maintenance, it is suitable for urban environments and high temperature regions. It can often be found in large, extensive patches. The trailing stems also make it suitable for flowerpots and terraces.

Propagation can be accomplished by taking a flowerless cutting, stripping a couple of bottom leaves off, and then replanting in the same soil.

The plant contains the hallucinogen chemicals DMT and 5-MeO-DMT, which can be extracted from the leaves. The concentration of these chemicals varies over the year. The content of 5-MeO-DMT rises during the summer and the content of DMT instead rises during the winter.[5]

In South Africa, Delosperma cooperi is used for preparation of khadi, an alcoholic wine. The plant's roots are known to be involved in the process of fermentation but the leaves are the important source for the production of khadi. There is no scientific evidence behind claims of medicinal benefits. It is known that the interaction of the plant during the fermentation process results in chemical components to change, which converts sugar to oxalic acid and is extremely toxic when ingested.[5]

The plant is also used among the Bantu and the Europeans as yeast source for making beer.[5]

This article includes a list of general references, but it lacks sufficient corresponding inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. (June 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Leistner, O. A. (ed.). 2000. Seed plants of southern Africa: families and genera. Strelitzia 10. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
Smith, G. F.; Chesselet, P.; Van Jaarsveld, E. J.; Hartmann, H.; Hammer, S.; Van Wyk, B.-E.; Burgoyne, P.; Klak, C.; & Kurzweil, H. 1998. Mesembs of the world. Briza Publications, Pretoria.


"Delosperma cooperi (DEPCO)". EPPO Global Database. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
"Ice Plant". Ice Plant. Retrieved 2020-12-11.
"Delosperma cooperi (Cooper's Hardy Ice Plant, Hardy Ice Plant) | North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox". plants.ces.ncsu.edu. Retrieved 2020-12-11.
"Hardy Ice Plant - Delosperma cooperi - PNW Plants". www.pnwplants.wsu.edu. Retrieved 2020-12-11.
"Trout's Notes on Some Other Succulents" (PDF). Sacred Cacti Third Edition.

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