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Ice cold choice

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Delosperma cooperi

Delosperma

How strange to think that to fill a hot dry spot, you’d turn to the ice cold choice? Cooper’s hardy ice plant gets its name not from a penchant for chill but rather the luminous ice-like flecks decorating its sea-glass green succulent foliage.

But the real deal with Delosperma cooperi is the intensity of its purple flowers – some call them florescent, because bright doesn’t do them justice. At its peak, this sassy South African native creates a veritable groundcover carpet, in turn covered in those beautiful blooms from May to July. Tough and evergreen, the endless carpet also tolerates salt and drought exceptionally well, making it ideal for installations in gardens, borders and slopes – anywhere sunny suits this succulent. Hardy in Zones 6 to 10, it tops out at just 3 to 6 inches, but quickly spreads to 24 inches and beyond.

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