Another ID, please!

chaparralgirl(Sonoran Desert (CA))November 19, 2011

This lovely grows in a large pot at my folks' place in San Diego County. In the spring it puts out lovely little bright fuscha blooms. When I did a Google image search, I came up with some hits for various Delospermas; but none of the leaves looked quite right. Anyone have any thoughts?

Oh, Mystery!

Thanks much!

*CG*

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cactusmcharris

CG,

I think that's a Lampranthus, but I don't know the species. It's a sprawling mess of a Mesembryanthemum (mesemb), and its flowers, many times an almost metallic purple, are attractive.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 11:04PM
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chaparralgirl(Sonoran Desert (CA))

I've never heard the flowers described as a "metallic" purple, but yes, that certainly does seem to fit.

And it's funny, I was just thinking that the flowers remind me of a hottentot fig - and then I looked up Lampranthus, only to find that the hottentot fig IS one!

Thanks, Cactus. My hero, once again. :)

*CG*

    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 11:23PM
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chaparralgirl(Sonoran Desert (CA))

I correct, I correct - hottentot is in the family Aizoaceae, which is the same as the Lampranthus. But it's not the same genus.

Still, close enough for gov't work, right?

*CG*

    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 11:27PM
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cactusmcharris

*CG*,

Your hero respectfully disagrees - the Hottentot fig epithet can apply to a bunch of different Mesembs, because the seed capsule of these look like a little fig. Lampranthus is a genus within the Aizoaceae, one of many that have this hot and taut feature. But you knew this already.

And the flower colour changes as they age - another cool feature of this Family and its cast of thousands.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 11:32PM
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chaparralgirl(Sonoran Desert (CA))

Ohhh. I see.

We have all kinds of hottentot out in San Diego. Used primarily for erosion control, and also (erroneously) in "fire-wise" landscaping. While it can certainly be pretty, in all its myriad forms, it's a helluvan invasive, and really more of a fire spreader than a fire barrier. (The undergrowth gets all dry and woody, and is just kindling waiting to burn.)

What I always recognized as "hottentot fig," though, is the thick-leaved stuff with the big flowers, like these:

I knew nothing about family, genus or species until this evening.

As always, I appreciate your clarifications. :)

*CG*

    Bookmark   November 20, 2011 at 12:29AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

We call those "sea figs" and "ice plants" commonly.

I agree, they make a beautiful blooming carpet....but the woody stems are hell on one's feet!
Terrifically invasive, and they have the notorious habit of not quite growing where one wants
them to grow.

Josh

    Bookmark   November 20, 2011 at 10:22AM
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cactusmcharris

And, IIRC, San Diego County finally discovered that it isn't true they're the most useful plant for erosion control. You California folk will soon be tasked with Mesemb removal from the hundreds of thousands of acres it's taken over. It could be a new version of the Civilian Conservation Corp.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2011 at 12:11PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Yep, I've seen it hastily migrate from the dunes it was intended to hold fast...
right down the slope to the roadside.

Josh

    Bookmark   November 20, 2011 at 12:33PM
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chaparralgirl(Sonoran Desert (CA))

Oh, what human folly, that we think we know better than Mother Nature how to "manage" the land...

I look forward gladly to the ice plant removal. I'll even get out there and help, if I can. But if it's to be replaced, it needs to be replaced with something native and non-invasive.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2011 at 1:00PM
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Stush2049(Pitts., Pa. 6)

And to think I paid good money for them. One man's weeds is another man's treasured plants. Who knew.
Stush

    Bookmark   November 20, 2011 at 6:12PM
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