Perfect for rock gardens or sunny slopes, the ice plant (Mesembryanthemum crystallinum) quickly forms a low mat of lush foliage that adds interest and texture even when these succulent perennials aren’t blooming.
The ice plant derives its name from the tiny bright spots on the foliage that look like small ice crystals. The ice plant grows 6 to 8 inches tall and produces bright purple, pink, or yellow flowers all summer.
They usually bloom from July to September. The leaves are oval to spatulate (broad at the end and tapering at the base) and form a teardrop with wavy edges.
It is native to Southern Europe, West Asia, South West Africa, and North Africa. Ice plants are a group of around 180 species of primarily succulent perennials that belong to the exciting family of Aizoaceae.