Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Plant profile: Malephora

First described in 1789, the genus Malephora has just 17 species in the genus, and not many books or papers published about it. This genus seems to have suffered a lack of attention, despite one member, M. crocea having been in cultivation for over two centuries.

Latin name: Malephora crassa ("mal-eh-FOR-ah CRASS-ah")
Common name: Bush Orange Ice Plant
Originally from: South Africa
Blooms: The entire plant is covered in masses of bright orange multi-petalled flowers in spring.
Light: Full sun, part shade
Water: Rain is plenty. No summer water!
Where to find in P. Garden: Several clumps grow between the Aloes in the Aloe hedge, alongside the storm drain

We have several types of "ice plant" at Pennsylvania garden, the common name of several different genera. Some are trailing, ground cover types, but Malephora crassa is a more upright, bushy kind, reaching about 18" high and 24" wide. The flowers open around noon for bees, wasps, flies and butterflies to pollinate them.

Subtle it ain't, but if you like saturated colors this tough little plant is available everywhere very cheaply and will bring a dose of xeric planty sunshine to your garden.


  1. Hello. Can I ask where your organization bought this plant? I love it and am interested in ordering it.

    Love the website!

  2. We got it at Home Depot - it's a commonly available ground cover around here :)


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