Plant of the day: rosy iceplant

Drosanthemum_floribundum1A blanket of color is draped across a bare cliff face above the beach. Gray-green succulent leaves–shaped like tiny sausages–form a dense mat that in turn is covered with bright pink flowers. Though the blooms look like daisies at first glance, they are actually in a totally different family (the yellow centers really are many stamens, not individual flowers). This is rosy iceplant or Drosanthemum floribundum.

Rosy iceplant has a very different look from the much more common (and invasive) iceplant, Carpobrotus, though it is in the same family. Common iceplant has large wedge-shaped leaves the size of crisp green french-fries, and the flowers are much larger. The little leaves of rosy iceplant are only about 1cm long.

This native to South Africa was originally planted to control erosion, according to the Marin Flora. It spreads easily, rooting at the stem nodes, and has expanded from large patches near Duxbury Reef in Bolinas into many other parts of Marin.

It is also known as showy dewflowerDrosanthemum_floribundum2

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Filed under Non-native, Plant of the day

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