Large creamy- pale yellow year-round; main flush in spring; spring
Sun; semi-shade; rockery; bank slope; walls; wildlife insects
woodland forest; cliffs; rocky places; grassland; cliffs; coastal kzn
thicket; subtropical east coast; highveld
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The Delosperma family of succulent groundcovers produce well-known garden plants, the most popular being D. cooperi and D. herbeum. However the species, D. tradescantioides is fast becoming one of the favourite new groundcovers in my garden. The large creamy- pale yellow flowers attracted my attention at the Botanical Society KwaZulu-Natal Coastal Branch Indigenous Plant Fair last year, and they now hug the ground beneath Crassula arborescens shrublets. It has a trailing habit. Leaves are an apple green, as fresh as a newly picked Granny Smith, and the hairs covering the leaf surface gleam as if continually moist. Hairs are a common protective coating employed by plants growing in hot, dry climates. A word of warning though; roots dig deep, and the plants spread fast, so make sure you place it correctly the first time. To reduce maintenance, pair this groundcover with strong succulent shrubs and aloes, A. chabaudii, for example, as it will dominate less aggressive perennials. The tall, grey-leaved Cotyledon orbiculata is another option. Leaves are said to resemble the genus Tradescantia, hence the species name.