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Yellow Ice plant flowers.jpg
Yellow Ice plant flowers
Scientific classification

Delosperma ('delos'=evident, 'sperma'=seed) is a genus of around 100 species of succulent plants, formerly included in Mesembryanthemum in the family Aizoaceae. The family is common in southern and eastern Africa. Delosperma species, as do most Aizoaceae, have hygrochastic capsules, opening and closing with changes in humidity.[1]

The leaves of Delosperma jansei (tradescantioides?)

Distinguishing characters[edit]

Plants of the genus Delosperma can be distinguished by their seed capsules. When these open (in response to rain), the seeds are exposed and not covered by a protective membrane, like those of most other plants in the family. The membrane is sometimes reduced to just a ledge (a feature shared by the related genus Trichodiadema. The triangular valves, which open outwards when wet, each have distinctive wings on either side.

Delosperma leaves tend to grooved or covered in bladder cells, which are sometimes even extended into hairs. The leaf shape is cylindrical or sometimes flattened.[2]

Delosperma species are long-lived, and flower mostly in the summer. Their flowers vary greatly in colour.


Species include:

Delosperma lydenburgense leaves are grooved


  1. ^ Harrington MJ, Razghandi K, Ditsch F, Guiducci L, Rueggeberg M, Dunlop JW, Fratzl P, Neinhuis C, Burgert I (2011). "Origami-like unfolding of hydro-actuated ice plant seed capsules". Nat. Commun. 2: 337. doi:10.1038/ncomms1336. PMID 21654637.
  2. ^ Delosperma - SANBI
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Trout's Notes on Delosperma
  4. ^ "Delosperma bosseranum - Entheopedia.Org: The Encyclopedia of Entheogenic Plants".
  5. ^ "The Succulent Garden :: Online nursery specialising in Succulent Plants".
  6. ^ Bussmann, R. W., et al. (2006). Plant use of the Maasai of Sekenani Valley, Maasai Mara, Kenya. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed 2 22.

External links[edit]